Long Island punk rockers Koyo have dropped their first full-length album ‘Would You Miss It?’. This marks their first release since the band’s ‘Call It Off’ EP from last year. They’ve been a band that has been on the rise within the scene, whether it be pop-punk or hardcore. This band shares elements of both and incorporates them beautifully, and this debut record is no exception to that. This is chock-full of pop-punk bangers inspired by the early 2010’s and even some of the 2000’s throughout this album. It’s one of the more consistent albums I’ve heard all year not only in the genre, but overall for 2023.
The record jumps straight in headfirst with “51st State”, which is one of the faster songs as a whole on here. It feels fitting to open the album with a fast one to really set the tone of the album right away as to what we’re getting into. Like I said before, this one and more that we’re gonna hear throughout feels so reminiscent of the early 2010’s pop-punk era with bands like The Wonder Years, Major League, or Man Overboard. And the outro of this track especially feels very influenced by that era of the genre, which I truly appreciate. The reload at the end going into the next song is also a nice touch, and we head straight into “You’re On the List (minus one)”. This was the first single, and it follows up the last track in a nice way which continues the vibe of the record nicely as a second track. Even though this is probably one of my lesser songs on this record, there’s still plenty to enjoy and it goes to show how much I enjoy the album as a whole. Shoutout to the chorus being awesome and to the backup vocals killing it during the pre-chorus and mixing with the main vocals, it gives off an early Taking Back Sunday vibe. And the lyric “When your catastrophic dial tone meets the fear of being all alone, it’s stillness I chose” is one that definitely sticks with me. We’re followed up with the final and probably best single from the record, with “Life’s a Pill”. This track does everything this band excels at already even better and I feel this should’ve been the main single off the album personally. With a great chorus, the lyrics having a tinge of guilt and darkness to it, the energy being constant throughout, and the bass coming through nicely during the bridge. It’s a perfect example of why people in the scene should have this band on their radar going forward.
We continue on with a seamless transition from the last track, with “I Might Not”. It continues the vibe from the last track really nicely, and it’s another standout track overall. The instrumentals at the beginning here remind me of pop-punk I used to listen to when I was little like I’d be watching a video for this song on MTV2. The harmonizing of the vocals at points here is a nice touch, and I do think this is sure to be a song that goes over well live at their shows. We go straight into the next track with “Flatline Afternoon”, featuring Anthony DiDio of Vein.fm. I think I’m noticing right now that Koyo are doing a great job at keeping the vibe going from the previous track or tracks that came before, which makes it nice to experience in a way. The vocals on this track though, delivered by vocalist Joey Chiaramonte, feel very intimate and in your face within the same song which is impressive. I definitely think this is another standout, and an even better example of a song that will absolutely crush live. That’s because Anthony‘s feature at the end absolutely crushes and is sure to have the crowd screaming in your face during this part and stage dives being had all around. It’s followed up by the second single from the record, with “Anthem”. The vibe at the end of the previous track is continued here with a faster and more circle pit kind of song, feeling reminiscent to a band like Four Year Strong. The bass also stands out nicely in the middle of the song, and it’s a good little track to place in the middle of this record. The vibe continues on with immediate riffs in the bridge in a more melodic kind of track, with “Sayonara Motel”. I appreciate this song being placed right after a faster one, it’s nice to have that contrast. I also gotta give a shoutout to the production on this record, it’s truly crisp and elevates all the instrumentals nicely in a way this album deserves. The drums feel subtle in a way in the background of the verses and I appreciate it during this track.
We’re immediately followed up with “Message Like a Bomb”, featuring Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw and Head Automatica. It probably features the best chorus on the record for me, and it’s just a banger overall. Shoutout to the random two-step part during the second verse, always a sucker for that. Daryl‘s feature during the bridge and final chorus fit really well along with Joey‘s vocals, it’s a nice mix of voices and you can definitely tell he’s a fairly big influence on Koyo as a whole. It goes right into the next song beautifully, that being “What’s Left to Say” featuring Vinnie Caruana of The Movielife and I Am the Avalanche. Like I’ve said before, this album hits a lot of that nostalgia at different eras of the genre and this one hits that 2010 feeling the most. It reminds me of something like Hit the Lights and I wasn’t expecting a band in the genre to hit those buttons for me again, so it’s really nice. I do think Joey shines the most on this song (especially in the chorus) and shows off his range pretty well, in a song that’s absolutely one of the highlights off this whole record. Vinnie‘s feature also feels like a nice cherry on top of this banger, and his vocals hit that feel of the song so well to cap it off. We reach the penultimate track with “Postcards”, and the energy is still never lost. Even while being one of the lesser songs on the record for me, this track made me realize how good Koyo is at bringing all their influences together in their sound overall but still having a fresh take on their own sound. Also a guitar solo before the last chorus is always a power move and I’m glad they included it here too. We’re straight into the final track and also yet another highlight, with “Crushed”. I’m glad they ended this with an absolute banger because it feels true to this band. The chorus feels anthemic and head boppin’, showing off how good they are at writing chorus and incorporating the right melodies to it. I was enjoying it so much that I could’ve used one more chorus, but that’s just me. The fade out feels appropriate to end this record and I’m just on a nice lil’ high after listening to this.
I gotta say, “Would You Miss It?” might be the most impressive, consistent, and energetic album in the genre I’ve heard this whole year and it caught me off guard. Koyo is here to fucking stay and melt your faces off with this kind of energy and I’m sure these songs will translate beautifully into their live sets. If you’re a fan of pop-punk from any era, I urge you to check out this record and lend this band your ears because they’re about to set shit off real soon after this wonderful debut.
Check out the video for “Life’s a Pill” below.