Two Years

by The Braces

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about

"The Braces is someone's little brother," says Less Than Jake drummer and Paper + Plastick Records founder Vinnie Fiorello. "They dove into their older brother's record collection that had a bunch of mid-'90s Fat Wreck albums, some '90s D.C. indie rock like the Dismemberment Plan and then whipped it into some modern pop-punk with early Saves The Day influences."

They tell you in school not to start anything you write with a quote, but Vinnie put it better than we can, so there it is. The Braces is a four-piece pop-punk outfit from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and they play pop-ish punk-ish songs. Their songs have a certain charm to them - I wouldn't call it sophomoric, but I would say that right away, there's a tinge of nostalgia when you listen to them. It sounds kinda familiar, but it's done so damn well that it hits the spot right away. This is the pop-punk band you were looking for in 2013 without knowing you were looking for them.

Two Years is The Braces' third studio release. It follows a 2009 LP titled I'm Telling Everyone and a 2011 EP called First World Problems, which the group released for free on Bandcamp. First World Problems was enough to get the attention of some people - The Braces were featured on comps put together by the likes of No Sleep Records and Disconnect Disconnect Records - but the eleven songs on Two Years show the band hitting its stride. The record is put together as one holistic thought, as vocalist / guitarist Zack Sekuler explains: "We began writing Two Years about the situations we were dealing with as a band and with our personal relationships during a period of time where everything changed for us."

The forbidden punk beat is littered all over Two Years, as the band isn't afraid to amp up the intensity and stray into the blisteringly paced style of the genre. But equally as prevalent on the record are a slew of tempo changes, with songs like the title track and catchy standout "Black Eye Makeup" ranging from slowed-down portions to exploding, massive choruses.

Recommended If You Like: Early Saves The Day, The Get Up Kids, the Fat Wreck Chords catalog from the 1990s, and a combination of The Beach Boys, Elvis Costello, The Buzzcocks & Bad Religion.

Two Years is coming out digitally via Paper + Plastick Records on April 9, 2013. It will be available on vinyl later in the year.

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released 09 April 2013

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Track Name: Reasons Not To Hate Everything
At ten years old I was sitting in the outfield
Swatting flies and missing all of my favorite cartoons
A few months later my parents bought a skateboard
They said "don't kill yourself, don't kill yourself"
I broke some bones and my back's got some kinks
But I found a reason not to hate everything
They put me on the bench in every single sport
I was a skinny kid who asked too many questions

And I spent time at the principal's office like it was regular class
They thought I would get the urge to not talk back, but that never happened
I spent time at the principal's office like it was regular class
They thought I would get the urge to not talk back, but that never happened
'Cause I'm still stubborn, yeah I discovered that

I still like to play with fire
Even though I burned everything down
I had it all and now I have everything else (I had it all yeah)
I had it all and now I have everything else
and I never felt better

I still like to play with fire
Even though I burned everything
I had it all and now I have everything else (I had it all yeah)
I had it all and now I have everything else

The words in my head come out easier when I sing them to myself.
Track Name: Applause
I saw the world in color
You saw it all in black and white
I thought I knew you better, I thought I knew you

You're not a face in the crowd, you're the crowd that I have to face
If I'm not mistaken by now I think I make too many mistakes
and the punchline is a thought, that makes you laugh so hard you could cry
the punchline is a thought:

Why do I strain my voice without saying a word?
I think it's a lot like dancing, I missed every step with you
and I can't believe that you're still clapping along

I'm tired of staying up late and sometimes not sleeping at all
I paid too much attention, yeah I think I payed it all
and the punchline is a thought that makes you laugh so hard you could cry
the punchline is a thought:

All your bad dreams are clapping along, they're clapping along
and I'm not sorry for refusing to bow while you kept clapping along
Track Name: Scratches
How was I supposed to know
I was a knife at a gunfight, the new kid at last week's show?
I'm sure you've seen it all
I thought if someone could listen, at least I won't be alone

I am juggling identities
I am scratching at a scratch on the surface
I am sick of picking different scenes
and still feeling like I've already heard this

I was young, I was angry
I grew up but nothing could change me

Oh 23, why do I find hope in all the wrong places?
I'm a scratched cd, repeating mistakes on a regular basis

I am fighting with old enemies
My dissent is a fact with a purpose
I am sick of looking after things
That have stopped looking after me, I'm a courtesy

I was young, I was angry
I grew up but nothing could change me
Track Name: Black Eye Makeup
I saw you at the show, you looked right through me
To the bar and told me that the frontman was calling your name,
Hey! I didn't realize you were friends with a rockstar

So get it out, let me be honest
a few tattoo's and a fan base is all it takes to get you to spread your legs
I know that I'm not that important,
but I thought that maybe you had better taste, now I see you're the same.

I bet when I have a name you'll call me and tell me you've changed
and all I'll hear, all I will hear is:
"blah blah blah blah blah blah blah I'm a piece of shit"
Track Name: Trophies
Go ahead and take all the credit kid,
I'm sure your parents worked hard for it
They gave you every reason
to hold out your hand and expect to be given a handout
but that's not how it works and you'll learn the hard way,
yeah you'll learn the hard way first

You said you're scared of dying alone
so you surround yourself with the living dead and get drunk
and say you're better off
If lies could bruise you'd be black and blue
'cause you said so much that you didn't do
and luck let you get away with it

Failure is my motivation, it's your excuse
and I am so sick of watching you
Failure is my motivation, it's your excuse
and I am so sick of watching you fail

I called you up, but you're never home
'cause you stay at your friend's and your night never ends alone
I guess that's what you wanted
and if words could heal I'd be healthy enough
but your actions prove what your words don't do
It sucks, and I have learned to deal with it

You're not as special as you think
and I'm not as special as I'd like to be
You're not as special as you think (go ahead and take all the credit kid)
and I'm not as special as I'd like to be
Track Name: Two Years
I don't, don't wanna remember
I think it's the last time I'll ever fall for this, fall for this
You'll find me here last winter,
singing songs about how I would never fall for this again

It's a knock on my door when I hoped for the bell,
It's the way that you look when I can't stand your smell
It's not, it's not the part that I forgot
I remember almost everything

I know you think I'm hard to please but that's just my reaction,
it's what I do when I don't take time to think
It's never as bad as it seems, I'm just bad at forcing a smile
'cause I had braces for a while

and I think it's funny 'cause I still have crooked teeth

I'm not checking you out, I'm checking you in
and I hope that you stay for a while,
I thought I had you figured out, but you're still full of surprise

It's not, It's not the part that I forgot

If I had one request, I'd spend a whole lot less of my time
Worrying and worrying and worrying about
the giant mess I made when I didn't know what to say
and you thought I said it

I know that lately I've been weird, I had a revelation,
I had to take the time to figure it out
I used to worry, but now I don't care anymore and

I'm not checking you out, I'm checking you in
and I hope that you stay for a while,
I thought I had you figured out, but you're still full of surprises

I don't, don't wanna remember, I think it's the last time I'll ever
Fall for this again

It's not
It's not
The part that I forgot

It's not
Track Name: DIY
I was on the phone with your mother,
She said she didn't know where you had gone
She said "I'm sorry that I had to call you
but I thought you were the only one
who she'd keep in touch with"

You make the dumbest decisions for someone who's so damn smart
It's like you're constantly trying to fuck up a good thing
and saying it's for the art (that's bullshit)

You're running away
I never see you coming back,
That's the way that it is when you're a badass
You take all the blame
and then you try to give it back
That's the way that it is when you're a badass

Remember when you called me wasted?
Crying scared at 4 am
You had me pick you up from the party
You said you're never doing this again
but you couldn't listen to yourself

You're running away
I never see you coming back,
That's the way that it is when you're a badass
You take all the blame
and then you try to give it back
That's the way that it is when you're a badass

You did this yourself.
Track Name: Siren
I'd take any price you offer,
I'm ashamed of how I suffer when you're around
I can't stop thinking that it's all I'll ever think about
You laugh and say you're happy with the choices you have made
I'm sure you are

I'm sure that some day you'll end up far away from me
While you moved on I stayed the same
I'm not the victim, I'm the case

Silent night I am a siren
I decided I wasn't done yet I've just begun
Silent night I will keep singing
until your ears stop ringing and you finally sing along

I guess you could say I'm stubborn
I'll admit that I have trouble staying down
I can't stop thinking that it's something you don't think about
You wish that you were happy with the choices you have made
but that's not true

I'm sure that some day I'll end up far away from you
You say you're done, but you're not through
You're not the rubber, you're the glue

Silent night I am a siren
I decided I wasn't done yet I've just begun
Silent night I will keep singing
until your ears stop ringing and you finally sing along

Who am I kidding? I'm not a siren, I'm just a kid
Who thinks that life isn't worth living if you don't try

Silent night I will keep silent for now,
but inside I'm screaming, inside I'm screaming out

Silent night I will keep singing,
until your ears stop ringing and you finally sing along
Track Name: Vandal
How much do you think I can take?
My life is full of mistakes but you are not another,
I just wanted to get your number
Why you? was never the question,
I'm through being nervous every day but I'm really not
I'm just hoping that you forgot
That I have a problem with problems, I don't quite know how to solve them

I had a dream that I was a vandal
I had a sharpie and an eye for scandal

I wrote it on the bathroom wall I wrote your number
"If you want a good time, you should call her"
I wrote it on the bathroom wall I wrote your number
"If you want a good time, you should call her"
And I meant it, yeah I meant it, I had the best time and I don't regret it
And I meant it, yeah I meant it, and I'd never let someone else get it

What else is there left to say, A whole lot but I think I'll refrain
'cause you are so much better than I could ever surrender
Fuck them for ever insisting, that you were anything less than great
and I'm sure you thought that they knew something that you did not

That you had a mountain of problems,
I just don't know how to solve them

I had a dream that I was a vandal
I had a sharpie and an eye for scandal

I wrote it on the bathroom wall I wrote your number
"If you want a good time, you should call her"
I wrote it on the bathroom wall I wrote your number
"If you want a good time, you should call her"

I wrote it on the bathroom wall, crossed out your number
I guess I had a good time, now it's over.
Track Name: Bedrooms
I said it, I know I had to
I get it now, I'm getting over you

The words in my head come out easier when I sing them to myself.
Track Name: Inconsiderate
Forget the words that stick in your head,
all of the times that you felt like you were nothing
I'm growing up reluctant, I'm staying young as long as I can
Remember the days when we played for hours and hours
It felt to us like we were part of something
I'm growing up reluctant, I'm staying young as long as I can

and I reject everything

I've got a red mark on my face tonight
'cause I never play it safe
and just you wait and see I'm not as mean as I seem to be
I've got a laundry list of apologies
that I never seem to make
and just you wait and see I'm not as mean as I seem to be

If you are right, then I'm inconsiderate and now I'm considering
The way that I treated you all of these years wasn't
the way that I meant to
I know I'm rude, but sometimes you ask for it
and I have to say my peace before I leave before I let go

I've got a red mark on my face tonight
'cause I never play it safe
and just you wait and see I'm not as mean as I seem to be
I've got a laundry list of apologies
that I never seem to make
and just you wait and see I'm not as mean as I seem to be

I saw it right before my eyes, I know who I am:

I slouch when I stand, and I shake when I sit
I'm rude when I talk, 'cause my voice sounds like shit
and if it were up to me, I wouldn't change a single thing
I wouldn't change a single thing
What do I know?

I'm growing up reluctant, I'm staying young
I'm growing up reluctant, I'm staying young as long as I can