Similar to predecessors like Say Anything who scribble outside of the pop punk lines, ARISE, SIR! is a project that isn’t defined by a single sound. Founded in the wake of A Healthy Alternative for Better Living, Columbus, Indiana’s Alex Kessler began Arise, Sir! as a means to explore rock sounds outside of the emo genre. This resulted in his debut EP “Something About This Needs to Be Changed”, which incorporated elements of post-punk, emo, indie, and heavy pop. Today, we’re thrilled to give you Kessler’s new earworm single “Animosty”, along with his commentary and his top 5 tracks from THE WONDER YEARS!
In the ensuing years since its release, Kessler has worked to further concretize his sound through projects with pointed goals. In October of 2020 Arise, Sir! released “Obviously Icarus” a 3-track acoustic EP with the help of fellow DIY Indie-rocker Kicksie. The acoustic driven album settled into a poppier sound, invoking aspects of electronic music and upbeat rhythms and chord progressions. The album was also an exercise in creation, as he purposefully created the album in an off-the-cuff manner that wasn’t focused on perfection while he continued to work on his latest offering “It Could Be So Simple”. Knowing he wanted “Simple” to be pop punk a la The Story So Far, old-school Fall Out Boy, and Blink 182’s “Neighborhoods”, Kessler tapped “The Wonder Years” guitarist Casey Cavaliere to produce the album and perfect pop punk sound.
The lead off single “Animosity” shows us how much Arise, Sir! has grown in a short period of time between EP’s by getting that extra professional touch from Cavaliere. Alex Kessler’s voice comes out front in the mix, with a really unique tone that doesn’t necessarily sound pop-punk (more indie punk, or almost post-punk) as the track absolutely rips with cutting lead guitar riffs. This is stadium level rock power with underground spirit, a combination that if holds up on the entire EP (out 3/26) will win over listeners far and wide.
Comments Alex Kessler: “Animosity is most likely my favorite track of the whole project. I’ve always wanted to write a song that goes into the mid-2000’s Fall Out Boy style of pop-punk and I think I hit it with this one. The song itself came together differently than the rest. I had the first half written and Casey and I were going back and forth on it. After we had polished the first half, he just took what was recorded and finished the song on his own, which was incredible. I think we did everything an unabashed pop-punk song needs to be fun to listen to, and I’m insanely excited for people to hear this one.”
Since “Animosity” was produced by Casey Cavaliere of The Wonder Years, we asked the ARISE, SIR! to share their top 5 Favorite Tracks by THE WONDER YEARS, and here’s what we got:
1. The Bluest Things on Earth
2. Hoodie Weather
3. We Could Die Like This
4. The Ghosts of Right Now
5. Woke Up Older