May 012002
Authors: Rachel Spannuth

Who knew Jersey could sound like this?

Midtown, from New Brunswick, N.J., is a foursome that has grabbed onto the power-pop and punk genre that has captured the ears of people around the nation.

Forming in 1998 while the members were attending Rutgers University, they put out their debut album on their own until being picked up by Drive-Thru Records. The band consists of Gabe Saporta, on vocals and bass, Tyler Rann and Heath Saraceno, on guitars and vocals and Rob Hilt, on drums.

The group’s sophomore effort, “Living Well is the Best Revenge,” has a melodic punk formula sound, making it bouncy and catchy.

“Still Trying” is a bouncy breakup song that uses distorted vocals and powerful chants to make it one of the catchiest songs on the album.

While the band has a fun sound, they feel that they can use music as a platform to get more important ideas across to their listeners.

“”I’ve always seen music as a vehicle to help express ideas,” Saporta said on the groups Web site. “Animal rights are something that we’ve all felt adamant about since day one. If having literature at our shows or information in our CD booklet can help expose new people to these ideas, then we’ve accomplished something positive.”

While the album is nothing drastically different from any other band in their genre, it is still a fun one and will catch on for many people that hear it.

Midtown is currently on tour with Blink-182, quite possibly the greatest sign of their quick rise to success. The quick turnaround from being a small college band playing to a handful of people to playing to thousands of people nationwide in a matter of a few years is something that is very rare.

Midtown has charisma and the attitude that has allowed them to develop into a popular new band in the popular punk world. While it may not be worth paying $30 or more to see them live, their album is one that lifts the spirits of the listener. n

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