Positive Charge released their first full-length album, Under Growth, in August. It’s a high energy ride from start to finish, drawing on material from the band’s past eight years together. Positive Charge is composed of the good vibrations of Richard Barrie (vocals, guitar), Cameron Hanes (guitar, vocals), Jordan Morlidge (bass, vocals), and Anthony Cardozo (drums, vocals).
With a name like Positive Charge, it’s perhaps not surprising that the music is chock full of positive messages, motifs, and feelings. The themes of social responsibility, feminism, and nostalgia are threaded throughout Under Growth’s 12 track tapestry. Each tune imparts an unfolding narrative, the care in execution make it apparent that a lot of thoughtful work went into creating this album.
“Nobel Lies” is a feminist anthem that shares the story of Lise Meitner, and her work with radioactivity and nuclear physics. Driving guitar riffs run alongside vocals that belt out some of Meitner’s obstacles, like how her research was discouraged and discredited due to her gender: “Thought for herself before accepting authority. She’s a powerhouse of science / a force of feminism.”
The track “The Greatest Tool” is a look at how technology has changed our interactions as a society. The song is highly nostalgic for a time before screens were such a huge part of our lives: “I remember back in the day we used to go out and play. We used to talk to each other when we had something to say.” Providing a little tongue-in-cheek humour, the track even samples the Facebook Messenger notification sound.
“Urgent Message” starts off with a more relaxed pace, but ramps up quickly. The lyrics focus on being socially conscious and encourages listeners to strive to be better humans. This feel good track is peppered with hopeful lyrics. They even address their own music scene: “Everyone needs a place of sanctuary. Let’s make this place safe for everyone” calling for more inclusivity – which the world can use a lot more of!
The album comes to a close with “Thicker Than Blood,” in which harmonized vocals tell a tale of being brought together by playing live shows. The track builds to an energetic instrumental solo, which is melodic with swing influences. It’s really an ode to playing live and the kinship that can be felt on stage, evidenced in lyrics like “From vein to vein and heart to heart we share a rhythm in 4/4 time.” and “On any stage you’ll see us pouring sweat, thicker than the blood you share”.
This isn’t just another pop punk album, it has powerful lyrics blended with solid rhythm work, driving melodies, and plenty of harmonizing vocals. Under Growth is Positive Charge’s first full length album, but the band clearly has been fine tuning their sound for years. This is a strong first release that is super fun to listen to. I look forward to what they come out with next.
You can catch Positive Charge at on Friday, October 20 8 p.m. when they will be playing with The Flying Hellfish, Mansbridge and Output. Ask a Punk or DM the band for the address of the show. You can catch them again on Friday, November 17 at 9 p.m. with The Fullblast and Jon Creeden at the marvelous House of Targ.