Single Review: McCafferty - 'Strain'

McCafferty is an American punk-rock band that formed in 2011. Having split and reforming in 2016, the band have since worked on a change of sound that has become a lot more punk since their earlier releases such as Beachboy in 2013, which was said by many to have a very similar sound to The Front Bottoms, which takes on a slightly more poppy style. With their latest release “Strain”, we can really see the move away from their old style of music, and see them settle in to a new sound for themselves.

Strain” comes from McCafferty’s new album ‘Yarn’, due to be released on March 23rd, which also features the already released single “Loser”. “Loser” starts to reveal their more punk-like sound, but still has some of their old sound within it. Meanwhile, Strain really breaks away from this and brings harsher vocals that portray more anger and emotion through the lyrics. It’s this anger and emotion that brings more energy to the music. It brings us less clean melodies, less perfection and a touch of darkness, which actually works in the bands favour. It sets them apart from every other band out there right now and helps them to deliver a unique sound which I hope to hear more of within ‘Yarn’.

The repetition of lyrics throughout the song helps to reinforce the sense of anger and emotion. Harkopt explains in an interview with AP that “it’s a song about the feeling of when you’re laying alone in a room, you turn the lights off and you’re laying in the dark, just staring up at the ceiling. You’re thinking about your breakup and what went wrong, how you could have fixed it and just that feeling of, ‘Hey, I just can’t do this anymore.’” This is made apparent through lyrics such as “I hope I die” and “I think you know its clear, I am the problem”. It’s a song I’m sure many can relate to, and it’s that relatability, combined with anger and emotion, that will make sure McCafferty come back with a bang. The new sound is also sure to gain the band a new wave of fans whilst retaining their older fans that helped bring them back from their hiatus in 2016.

Words by Hayley Fearnley