FISSION, the sophomore album from Boston’s Dead Poet Society is impossible to ignore. Composed of thirteen gritty, explosive and surprisingly vulnerable songs, FISSION is the type of album that demands to be listened to at full volume. The album finds the band – Jack Underkofler (vocals) Jack Collins (guitar), Will Goodroad (drums) and Dylan Brenner (bass) – not only flexing their growth within their songwriting skills since their 2021 debut, but also offering listeners something that will touch them to their core.
Every album has its strengths and weaknesses – some might really hit a home run lyrically, but miss the mark when it comes to the songwriting, some albums are absolute masterpieces, but they production quality leaves much to be desired. That can’t be said about FISSION, though. In fact, after about half a dozen listens, I don’t know if I have yet to discover a single weakness on the entire album. Lyrically, FISSION finds the band exploring life’s highs and lows and the growth that comes along with the bittersweet breakdowns of relationships and finding one’s self-worth. The guitar and bass tones hit you right in the chest, and with driving drums that make you want to bang your head or dance throughout, the cherry on top is the flawless mixing, which never focuses too much on one singular instrument. The vocals never get lost in the mix despite the complex fuzzy guitar riffs, and on just about every single song, and each instrument and member pulls their own weight and has their own moment to shine.
Throughout the album’s thirteen songs, the band effortlessly weaves throughout anthemic tracks like “Running In Circles” and “My Condition”, and darker, more explosive cuts like “HURT” and “81 Tonnes”, tender, to emotional ballads like “Tipping Point.” The band’s ability to adapt and blur the lines between genres perfectly compliments the lyrical content of the album, as well. Although there isn’t necessarily one overarching theme, many tracks on FISSION focus on growth and change, whether it’s letting go of someone who you know isn’t good for you (“Tipping Point” and “I hope you hate me.”), fearing that you’re following the wrong path (“HURT”) or overcoming challenging obstacles (“81 Tonnes”). There are moments of confidence in high points like the explosive “KOET” and the drum-driven “Hard To Be God” as well.
The great thing about FISSION is that it has a little bit of something for everyone. If you’re looking for something to blast at full volume in the car so you can just get lost in the music for a while, this is the album for you. If you’re looking for something that might unexpectedly just get you lyrically, this is the album for you. If you’re looking for something incredibly technical, but not too dense to bob your head along to, this is the album for you. Incredibly well balanced, from the mixing to the lyrical content to the way that every instrument seems to work together in perfect harmony, FISSION is certainly an album that will withstand the test of time and will continue to catapult Dead Poet Society’s success.