On the 17th of April, 2020, Brookline will release their third EP, Where Do I Go From Here? The four-piece hail from Upstate New York in the US, and consists of Mikey Pace and Dae Bennett on guitars, Chris Fox on drums, and Tommy Carter on the vocals. Their music is a blend of alternative rock, pop-punk, post-hardcore, as well as having that traditionally “emo” sound. This EP follows Brookline’s short break that began at the end of 2019. They felt that, in order to continue being creative and making music, they needed a break to recuperate from the intense year of touring they’d had. They began production on the EP in early 2020. With four tracks, Where Do I Go From Here? is somewhat on the shorter side, and each song is around 3 minutes long.
The EP greets listeners with a distorted riff played on the guitar, which is heard alone until about 10 seconds in. When the drums are introduced with a lively, heavy beat, you begin to feel the college-rock influences that play into the aesthetic and sound of the song. The first song, “Dive In”, is probably my favourite – the chorus is catchy and sticks with you (I may have been humming it to myself as I walked around my flat this morning). Lyrically, the song takes you on a journey. It starts with what feels like Carter taking a look at himself, who he is, where he’s going. But it ends with words of encouragement, singing “stand strong and I know you’ll be fine”. This journey of self-acceptance and is one that is familiar to everyone and creates a song that people can relate to. Pair this with some serious shredding on the guitar, and the song is versatile and beautiful.
“Dive In” is definitely the heaviest song present, and the change into a slower sound is marked with “Transparent”. It isn’t as soft sounding as the last two, but it paves the way to that change in the song. Like “Dive In”, it starts with a riff played by itself, with vocals and drums being introduced after it. The riff is sweeter than the previous one, however, and the drums have more of a calming beat to them. Things pick up at around 40 seconds in, and it’s almost like a flip is switched.
Carter’s voice is full of feeling as he belts out the lyrics to the chorus, the song almost a ballad compared to the others. These two songs show the capability of the band in a nutshell. While their lyrics are always about emotions and experiences they’ve gone through, the pace and tones of the two singles show that they can be intense and heavy, but also softer and sweet.
This EP marks the last album cycle for the foreseeable future, as Mikey Pace prepares to be deployed by the United States Army. While many fans are proud of Pace’s commitment to defending their country, many are also saddened by the fact that they most likely won’t be producing music for a few years. However, the EP is impressive. The mixing and production of it is clean. Brookline manage to give each song its own sound, while keeping in line with the alternative sound they each have.
While some bands have influenced their music (early All Time Low, etc.) they have created an EP that is reminiscent of that time period, while also being able to speak to a modern audience. I wish Mikey Pace luck in his future, and I hope to hear more from Brookline soon!
Where Do I Go From Here? is out on April 17th – grab it on Amazon and help support this site!