This Is Only a Test, by Smoking Popes

August 25, 2011


Since recently reuniting, the Smoking Popes have been a different band from their 1990s heyday. Josh Caterer still sings about high school fodder from college to prom dates, but his conversion to Christianity seems to have added some depth to the band's catchy pop-punk tunes. The high-octane title track mulls life's reversal of fortunes, while "Letter to Emily," accompanied by cello and acoustic guitar, has Caterer delivering a redemption missive to a girl from his past who committed suicide.