#aotd is Death of a Slug by Northbound. This album takes the fast pace and catchy songwriting of pop punk and blends it with the personal lyricism and frenetic vocal style of emo. This album will be immediately familiar to anyone who has listened to the genre before, from the loud guitars to the love-spurned lyrics, this album fails to distance itself from the genre norms at all. Despite this, it does manage to be fairly enjoyable for the most part. The vocal performance here is standard for the genre but does shine on the rougher, louder cuts like the great track “Leech” and the closing track “I Want to Hate the World”. Like the vocals, the instruments are fairly standard but have some notably decent moments like the uncharacteristically showy guitarwork at the end of “Kiss” or the Weezer-esque power chords which open the album. The band shows their inexperience the most through their lyrical efforts, which range from passable to totally cringe-worthy. These lyrics are mainly focussed around a failing crush or emotional damage and feature more than enough sour lines which come off as either immature or overly pretentious. “The Effort is Never Worth The Outcome” has some of the better lyrics with some okay attempts at storytelling but even here I can’t help shake the feeling that the protagonist of this album is stuck in “le friendzone”. Songs about pining and begging for a girl’s affection aren’t uncommon, but lines like “while you just undress yourself for everyone you see, everyone but me” make the protagonist seem uncomfortably entitled and shitty. If you can switch your brain off to some of the amateurish songwriting and instrumental choices, there is an enjoyable enough pop punk album here, still tonnes of room for improvement though.