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With Five Score And Seven Years Ago - Relient K's fifth album in seven years and the follow up to 2004's mmhmm, the band's third consecutive Gold album - some are bound to ask, has the pop-punk band, ahem, matured a bit? Well, yes â€" sort of. While the new album isn't chockfull of their characteristic puns and concludes with an 11-minute, 115-track tour de force entitled "Deathbed," rest assured, Relient K has not lost its quirky sense of humor.
Five Score And Seven Years Ago marks Relient K's first full-length album featuring bassist John Warne and Jon Schneck - although the two appeared on the band's Apathetic EP, released in late 2005. With original guitarist Matt Hoopes and drummer Dave Douglas completing the lineup, Relient K is now a quintet with each of the members contributing vocals. The backing harmonies, stunning throughout, amp up the infectious "Must Have Done Something Right" and serve as an ironic counterpoint in "Deathbed." But the biggest change was in the control booth.
Five Score And Seven Years Ago is an ambitious follow-up to mmhmm, Relient K's first joint Gotee Records/Capitol release, which debuted at #15 on the Billboard 200 and at #1 on the internet chart in 2004. It has subsequently been certified Gold as have the band's previous two albums, 2003's Grammy-nominated Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... But Three Do and 2001's The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek. Propelled by the success of mmhmm and its two Top 20 singles ("Be My Escape" and "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been"), the band has toured incessantly, hitting the road with bands like Good Charlotte, Simple Plan and MXPX and landing a main stage slot on the 2005 Vans Warped Tour, and logging a slew of television appearances, including "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" as well as MTV's "TRL," "Hard Rock Live" and "Summer on the Strip from Las Vegas." Yet Relient K (yes, named for the Reliant K automobile, which Plymouth manufactured in the 1980's) relishes its relative anonymity. "We're still under the radar, nobody knows who we are," says Thiessen gleefully. Mmhmm, given the promise of Five Score And Seven Years Ago, that may change.