From Kansas City comes pop-punk outfit The Way Way Back, and from them comes their album, Baggage or You’re Never Going to Leave it All Behind. This is a monumental expression of pain and bravery packed into seven tracks. “Baggage” may come without lyrics, but acts as a brilliant introduction to the saga. Opening with a shuffling of people in a crowded place before venturing into just the right punk melody at just the right time, the track welcomes you to the beautiful chaos. This transitions directly into the second track, “I Am Not Afraid to Walk This World Alone”, a heavy rocker dedicated to a former flame, perhaps from a place of discontent or even anger. The more stripped back “Kintsugi” has the acoustic guitar to thank for the perfect runaway song, which happens to be the subject of this ballad. The band keeps it relatively slow for “Bad Star”, the story of someone who is down in their luck and unable to get out of a dark place. The final track is “Waste Away”, which one could consider the optimistic song of the album. This is where we are asked what we’ll do with ourselves as life moves so fast. Perhaps, we don’t have an answer.
The Way Way Back may have included many elements of pain with this release, but what stands out more is the overwhelming elements of wonder and hope that are buried within each song.