Retirement Party Credit: Sarah Beidatsch

If there was a soundtrack to fit the lives of Chicago’s latest generation of pop-punk fans, it would probably feature the Retirement Party. Fronted by Michigan native and Logan resident Avery Springer, Retirement Party understand the nuances of pop-punk and emo like they’re water and air, and their new debut album, Somewhat Literate (Counter Intuitive), plays like a conversation between the fidgety, long, and tangled histories of both genres. The group’s cheeky blends of cathartic, uplifting emo and propulsive pop-punk come through in short, sizzling bursts—like drops of milk dribbled into a bowl of Rice Krispies. Despite their relatively short lifespan as a band, Retirement Party roll through each knotty melodic fissure with veteran precision. Springer delivers insightful lyrics that are both witty and neurotic, with a hint of a sneer that nicely counteracts her warm earnest demeanor. Such a precipitous balance allows her to place her lifestyle under the microscope while lending a shoulder to anyone else struggling through the process of “adulting.” I hope Retirement Party continues to harness their powers into supersize songs, as they do on the blustery “The Big Boom.”   v