Is there anything more meaningless and arbitrary than a genre tag?
In this day and age, you’re either hard-, nu-, -core, or just plain old confused. Ohio quartet My Ticket Home-Nick Giumenti [lead vocals, bass], Marshal Giumenti [drums], Derek Blevins [rhythm guitar], and Matt Gallucci [lead guitar]-proudly raise a middle finger to that concept and dub what they do as simply, “Puke Rock.”
“The term just describes whatever we do,” affirms Matt. “We knew people would label us with genres that weren’t even close to our sound, so we made our own. No matter what music we make, it’s ‘Puke Rock’, plain and simple. It’s My Ticket Home.”
“It’s our thing, our sound, our clique, and our crew,” adds Nick. “It’s something for us to rep.”
It also comes to life on the group’s third full-length album and first for Spinefarm Records, unReal. Progressing naturally, the musicians embraced their collective influences, spanning across all genres and time periods to take a bold step forward from their 2013 offering Strangers Only.
At the same time, the record isn’t just a throwback. Rather, it staunchly represents My Ticket Home in 2017.
“We spent four years writing and growing up,” says Matt. “We listen to less heavy music on a daily basis. You can feel that. The four of us have really found our individual writing styles and that contributes to the coherence of unReal.”
“We just make music that we want to listen to,” adds Nick. “We grew from what we had and evolved into what you hear on this record. We all subconsciously draw from our idols.”
Recorded in Texas with producer Fred Archambault [Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu], these thirteen songs echo with a hypnotic hard alternative edge. The first single “Thrush” properly introduces the album with a delicate balance of extremes.
“It was the last song that we wrote for this record,” explains Nick. “We did it in the studio, and we all felt like it needed to be on there. I think writing vocals and especially lyrics is like painting a portrait; the instruments create the setting and the words the subject. The face and expression are what really make you feel something. I think my role as a singer is fill that blank expression creatively and keep it satisfying. Whether in the background or completely standing out, I want the meaning to be open to interpretation. There’s nothing worse than a song that doesn’t let you think for yourself”
Meanwhile, the follow-up “Hyperreal” takes a sharp and unpredictable musical turn and nods to trip-hop textures.
“It started with an idea I had that was very trip-hop, almost Portishead in a way” Matt goes on. “When it got to the floor and we all got our hands on it, it turned into what we have today. The great thing about this record is we realized that our music only comes out right when everyone is in the same room.”
My Ticket Home has been working towards this since 2012’s full-length debut To Create A Cure. Along the way, songs like “A New Breed” would crack 1.1 million YouTube views as “Spit Not Chewed” racked up 771K Spotify streams as the group landed features from Noisey/Vice, Alternative Press and more.
Now, no more words are necessary. Simply listen.
“Just enjoy it,” Nick leaves off. “One of the rarest things in the world is something done for pure enjoyment that doesn’t have a message or isn’t trying to sell you something. We hope we’ve made something like that.”