Scrolling through Kilby Court's Instagram as I'm one to do, my eye was caught by the artist called The Rocket Summer. One, because I liked their poster, and two, what a weird little name they chose for themselves. The Rocket Summer is comprised solely of Bryce Avery, a multi-faceted musician. Based out of Dallas, Texas, he's produced eight albums and three EPs. As of July 12, 2023, he has 91,111 listeners on Spotify. Alternate Press has said that The Rocket Summer is one of "the 100 artists you need to know" and has showed up on Spotify's "Emo Forever Playlist".
The Rocket Summer's newest album "SHADOWKASTERS" was released May 12, 2023. The single released off the album was the third track, "Sing At The Top". The album has a very similar vibe and sound to Fall Out Boy's 2018 album, MANIA. It's emo/alternative with a sprinkle of pop. Even the fifth track off of "SHADOWKASTERS" feels like a homeage to early Fall Out Boy song title, being called "Do You See Dreamscapes In Your Dreams Before The Dreams Escape When The Sun Beams?" I think "SHADOWKASTERS" as a whole is sort of forgettable. It falls in line with mediocre middle albums of emo bands like All Time Low and Panic at the Disco. Testing the range of the singer and the lyrics throughout the album, but lacking anything anything truly dazzling. The opening song M4U, the song that should catch your eye and set the tone for the albm turned out to be lackluster which shouldn't be the case. However, it did set the tone for the album.
Overall, I think a past version of me would've liked this album. This is an album for me when I was in the seventh grade and was conviced that angsty music was the only right music to listen to. However, I struggle to vive completely with the album. I think part of the allure of albums like Fall Out Boy's MANIA is the name. You're curious to see what one of the big names in emo music is going to do next. When you see they have a new album, you think back to the one you liked when you were a kid. For me, "SHADOWKASTERS" lacks that nostalgia.