Mike Bell & The Movies | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist

Pop-punk four-piece Mike Bell & the Movies released their sophomore album Room today, the follow up to their 2014 debut Nothing Works.

The group, which includes members of Year of Glad, Dogs On Acid, and the Superweaks, is truly devoted to spinning catchy pop-punk tunes on Room, an album overflowing with driving bass lines and catchy guitar riffs.

If you somehow managed to mute the lyrics on Room, you could easily be convinced that the album is a celebration of life, an excited look back on good times. But as songwriter Mike Bell told New Noise, which premiered the record, “This album is a three year exploration of my darkest tendencies. It’s less a collection of songs and more a memoir of the people and places that affected me during a very low period.”

The album’s second track, “Fucked If You Do,” is a case in point. On the surface, it appears as if all is well. With an addictive lead guitar riff that pops up like a whack-a-mole, and the bright harmonies that complement Bell’s crisp vocal delivery, the song sounds like a fairly carefree pop-punk song.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The song was written immediately after a breakup, and during the chorus Bell asks himself, “How can I go on living without you?” But even in what should be a lyric filled with anguish, something about the way Bell repeats the line almost gives it a playful, self-aware tone, as if Bell knows at the end of the day he’ll probably be all right. It’s a good way to sum up the philosophy of Mike Bell & the Movies’ brand of pop-punk: there’s nothing a catchy song can’t help cure.

Take a listen to “Fucked If You Do” below and stream Room in its entirety via New Noise.