Magnolia Park Build a Community of Misfits on the Hook-Filled ‘Baku’s Revenge’
By Nathan Leigh
November 22, 2022
As the pop-punk renaissance kicks into overdive, so have the inevitable time-worn arguments about the hard line between pop and punk. So credit to ascendant act Magnolia Park for owning their sound and releasing a defiant statement with their debut Baku’s Revenge. Out the gate on the album’s intro, vocalist Joshua Roberts issues a warning:
“I got some shit to say
I’m tired of all you pop-punk motherfuckers talking sweet about Magnolia Park
I hear y’all say Mag Park ain’t punk, Mag Park uses autotune, shut the fuck up
If I hear another motherfucker say Mag Park is a TikTok band, I’m beating their ass”
The band immediately launches into the infectious anthem “Feel Something,” which highlights Mag Park at their best. Roberts’ lyrics highlight his struggles with mental health. The band switches from pummeling guitars to synth breaks on a dime. There’s no shred of ironic distance or inoculating coldness to their embrace of pop hooks. They wield massive hooks throughout Baku’s Revenge, inviting the listener to join the pit in a community of misfits.
The best moments come when the band lives most fully in the extremes. Roberts’ vocals are never less than unapologetic in their honesty. Whether he’s singing about his failed relationships, inner demons, or systemic oppression as on the standout “Paralyzed,” Roberts holds nothing back. Baku’s Revenge is structured almost like a live set. From intro to interludes, the band expertly conducts the flow of adrenaline, culminating in the massive closer “I should’ve listened to my friends.” The song explodes in the sing-along chorus “you got me fucked up in my head.” Like the most timeless pop-punk hooks, it’s honest, direct, to the point, and destined to be stuck in your head for months.
Follow Magnolia Park on socials @magnoliaparkfl for more.
Get The Latest
Signup for the AFROPUNK newsletter