lauren stern says it like she means it…
Ten years ago, I went on an unforgettable journey to my local Best Buy with my mom for some piece of technology that at the time we probably didn’t even need. Of course, my brother and I being the little brats that we were, ran around the store as my mom searched around looking for someone for help. While my brother rushed over to the video game aisles, I strolled up and down the long aisles of CDs that, at the time, stretched down half the store. Before checking out, my mom told us we could pick one item to take home with us. For me it was Something Corporate’s CD Leaving Through the Window.
Normally I don’t talk about this story unless I’m reminiscing about the exact moment I fell in love with the music of Andrew McMahon, but the action of buying this CD changed my life because it opened a lot of doors to me musically. Essentially, I didn’t just buy a CD to pop into that stereo that night. Once I listened to it a few hours later, I immediately became immersed in the whirlwind that was known as the “mainstream pop-punk/emo movement” of the 2000s. I was never to come out the same again.
You see, Something Corporate started off on Drive Thru Records, a small label (which would be considered indie now) that back in the day hosted the likes of The Early November, RX Bandits, Halfax, Finch, and more. Through listening to Leaving Through the Window, I got a hold of a Drive Thru Records sampler, which is how I learned of many pop punk bands including the band being celebrated ten years later, The Starting Line.
Shortly before signing to Drive Thru Records, The Starting Line was merely taking off. Kenny Vasoli, Matt Watts, Mike Golla, and Tom Gryskewicz were essentially playing in other people’s basements until the right time came along. After signing to Drive Thru and solidifying a name, the band started recording demos, compiled their first EP, and eventually produced and released their first album.
Say it Like You Mean It kicked off soon after it’s 2002 released and established The Starting Line as a pop punk staple. Listeners couldn’t get over the catchy hooks, the relatable lyrics, and addicting melodies. Each track was like a story, with it’s own unfinished ending where the fans can fill in the blanks. At the time, the pop punk community needed music like this to solidify their feelings; to let them though that someone was there that understands. The pop punk/emo movement saw a lot of that at the time but the Starting Line was one of the few bands to break away from the typical mold and successfully experiment without losing the interest of their fans.
It’s clear that Say it Like You Mean It gave the band the jump start they needed and the success they were always dreaming about in the basement days, which is why it’s only right to pay homage to such a great album. On December 29, The Starting Line will “say hello to Jersey” (bad pun, I know) and play the album in its entirety at Asbury Park’s Convention Hall. It will be a great night filled with nostalgia and I can’t wait to celebrate this great album by hearing it all in order and live.
Tickets are available for tomorrow night’s Starting Line show at Convention Hall and can be purchased here.