What Are You Waiting For
FM Static is the freshly scrubbed side project of vocalist/guitarist Trevor McNevan and drummer Steve Augustine of Toronto Christian rap-metal combo Thousand Foot Krutch. Together with bassist Justin Smith and guitarist John Bunner, the boys turn in a fizzy ten-song debut that TPs metaphorical high-school hallways with pop culture references and power-chord smoke bombs. In the (recent) tradition of blink-182 and Good Charlotte, there's nothing necessarily punk about FM Static, beyond a few cleaned and pressed Ramones T-shirts. What Are You Waiting For? has removed any semblance of unseemliness from the music, but has gleaned every last drop of its anthemic riffing and reliance on homeroom heartbreak and pre-calculus puppy love as lyrical fodder to bop and dance to. "...She's starin' at his picture hangin' in her locker," McNevan sings over the pogoing "Definitely Maybe." McNevan's would-be prom date is oblivious to her boyfriend's two-timin' ways, but McNevan saw what the philandering cad did "when we were at the movie theater watchin' Harry Potter." He goes on to detail the giddy confusion of high school's final moments ("All the Days") and long-distance relationships ("Hold Me Twice"), and writes an open letter to the Man Upstairs in "Something to Believe In." Each track has been sanitized for maximum pop-punk (i.e., not simply punk) accessibility, and McNevan has the wide-open vocal style to sell the songs' sunny hooks and crunchy chording. So while it's all pretty enjoyable, What Are You Waiting For?'s clean lines and peppy anthems are just placeholders in the summer of 2003's graduation party play lists. That said, neither McNevan nor his mates seem very concerned with their new band's lack of substance. And they deserve credit for name-checking Vaurnet sportswear, Chip 'n' Pepper polo shirts, and Vanilla Ice cassette tapes all in one memorable lyric.