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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

Cheeses of Suburbia: Cheese's For Celebrating (I'll Have A Mozzarella)


Zachary Hertz (ZH): Welcome back! This week we have Jake Arnstein, a junior, whose most pop punk moment was running a Naruto fanfiction page in eighth grade.

Jake Arnstein (JA): It’s not strictly pop punk, but it’s part of the movement.

ZH: We’ve ordered from Davis Square Pizza, a restaurant so vaguely titled you’d think it doesn’t actually exist.

JA: These are the best I’ve had in a while. The cheese is firm and there’s a slight crunch -- ideal qualities in mozzarella. It tastes like an 8.5.

Brady Shea (BS): I’d go 9. "Hotzarella" sticks are a 10, but these are very good.

ZH: I’m going with 8.5, too. They’re not as good as Mike’s but they’re definitely a cut above the rest. To fit the depressing mood of this week, where half of campus is either sick or pulling all-nighters, we’re listening to Mayday Parade’s “A Lesson In Romantics" (2007). Any thoughts?

JA: I’ve always been an old head when it comes to music, because I have a good relationship with my dad. I used to knock pop punk as sappy garbage but, in retrospect, I really felt it and couldn’t come to terms with that. Pop punk helped open my mind.

BS: I have a very vivid image of listening to this album on shuffle while crying, and I still know all the words. Jason Lancaster left immediately after recording this and started Go Radio, but that’s pretty much all the fun facts I have.

ZH: This album starts off strong. From the opening riff, “Jamie All Over” is energetic, with a touching hint of nostalgic romanticism. This album’s strengths are in its power of imagery and maudlin sound -- both themes that re-emerge in “Jersey.”

BS: Can we talk about how satisfying the “Jersey” key change is?

JA: Nut.

ZH: But yeah, the 10th anniversary album tour was my very first concert. I’d just gone through a breakup and hearing this song, “Miserable At Best,” helped me externalize and realize how immature I was. It was a purge of angst.

BS: Oh God, I just panicked when I heard the first chord. When I was in eighth grade, my first crush was with someone else, and I listened to this so much.

JA: It’s the slow dance song at a seventh grade formal. If I had learned to play this on the piano, I would’ve been so much cooler in middle school.

ZH: Overall thoughts?

JA: The album's definitely emo, but also anthemic and evokes the “Shut up Mom, I’ll drink two Red Bulls if I want” years. I’d give it an 8/10. It has everything you need -- the piano song and the upbeat songs -- and seventh grade me would’ve eaten this up.

BS: I can’t not love this album because of my nostalgic connection to it. As corny as “A Lesson in Romantics” is, there will never be a point in my life where I dislike it. Objectively, it’s a 7.5/10.

ZH: Yeah, there’s a lot here that can seem cringeworthy, but I think it manages to succeed musically and I’m super sentimental about it. 8.5 from me.