For HOMESAFE, progression begins with a nod to the past. On One, their debut LP for Pure Noise Records, the band dug deep into their ’90s rock influences, marrying high-octane guitar riffs with buoyant choruses and threadbare attitude that demands listeners’ attention.
The result is an album that stands up squarely to the sound of right now but shines with an aura of timelessness, one that effortlessly pays tribute to bands like Foo Fighters and Third Eye Blind without appearing regressive.
It’s a musical style the Chicagoland band—vocalist/guitarist Ryan Rumchaks, vocalist/bassist Tyler Albertson, drummer Emanuel Duran and guitarist Joe Colesby—have forged through years of relentless touring alongside acts like State Champs and Knuckle Puck (for whom Rumchaks plays bass) and past releases (2014’s Homesafe, 2015’s Inside Your Head and 2016’s Evermore), but it’s never been as calibrated as it is on One.
“We were 17 and 18 when we started the band,” Rumchaks explains. “We’ve just grown so much as people, and that reflects in the music we’re writing.”
“When we first started touring, it was a really big growing experience,” Albertson adds. “This record shows us having seen a lot of the world and starting to form a lot of views about it. I think our old music was more homebody.”
Indeed, there’s a great big world out there beyond the Chicago suburbs, where the group of high school friends began jamming in basements and garages in 2014. The band’s expanded perspective shines on songs like the fiery political salvos “Sadistic Society” and “Suits and Ties,” the sound of Homesafe finding their voice about the world at large and, more importantly, not being afraid to use it. These moments are later balanced by One’s more personal entries—like the breezy “Vanilla-Scented Laser Beams” and sprawling ballad “Sideways Sleeper.”
In the end, balance is integral to the songs on One. It’s been a busy four years for Homesafe, and with all the miles logged and fans gained come hearty doses of reality: homesickness, self-doubt, a longing to make sense of the world at large. But One isn’t afraid to wrestle with those topics, knowing the resolve to confront uncertainty is always stronger than doubt itself.
“As young adults finding our place in society, we’re looking for ways to cope with everything going on and looking for a sense of understanding,” Albertson says. “On a small level, that’s personal relationships—broadening out to the way we see the world around us. The world has changed so much in the past two years, more than any of us have ever seen.”