Smoking Popes latest album is a stellar example of an excellent band that is maturing in their songwriting and playing while still keeping the youthful spirit alive. For example the song "Diary of a Teenage Tragedy" perfectly captures that emotions of a lonely high school nerd, then the songs "College" and "Punk Band" deal with issues of choosing a career, and then there is just the silly song "I've Got Mono." The rest of the album deals with relationships and love ("Letter to Emily" and "Wish We Were"), living life to the fullest ("How Dangerous"), and growing up ("This In Only A Test").
While This Is Only A Test isn't a perfect record, it is a really, really, really, really good record that straddles the line between pop punk, indie rock, and power pop. Longtime fans of Smoking Popes should thoroughly enjoy this album and fans of the likes of Sicko, The Thermals, and/or Alkaline Trio should definitely check out this record.