NOAHFINNCE – Growing Up On The Internet (Hopeless Records)

The past few years have been something of a whirlwind for NOAHFINNCE, initially starting out by posting covers across both his YouTube and his Instagram page alongside his vlogging, and releasing a few songs along the way, before eventually signing for Hopeless Records in 2019.

This debut album is something of a monumental moment for the young star, and comes just off the back of a massive UK-wide arena tour with heavyweights Enter Shikari, but where there’s excitement, I can only imagine there’s a great deal of pressure on his shoulders too. The burden is shared though, with a few big names drafted in to help along with the procution process, including both Danny Jones and Dougie Poynter from McFly, Thomas Mitchener, who has produced for the likes of both The Damned and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, and as well as Arcades, who has previously produced for BTS.

Opening track “KINDA LOVE IT“, is lyrical venom personified, the embodiment of a scathing disregard for those who love to spread lies and rumours, but making sure to soak up the attention, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. With lines like “You’re regurgitating every line. You must be feeling kinda lonely. So sick of you thinking that you know me” helping to illustrate this swaggering ignorance. The track fluctuates between isolated vocals and lonesome strummed chords, with the addition of pulsating drums in the second verse, while the choruses burst into life each time, turning the ferocity up to the maximum. It’s a trick that works well, and certainly does a good job of setting the tone for the rest of the album.

The album’s title track “Growing Up On The Internet” begins with a rather exciting riff, and a hard-hitting drumbeat, but is then somewhat fumbled by some tacky-feeling production and effects. For a song discussing the more unappetising aspects of having an internet-based platform since a young age, the digitalised effects cheapen it more than they enhance it. The vision is there, but the execution? Maybe not so much.

Pop-punk as a genre is one that has often faced criticisms for being rather repetitive, which is unfortunately where both “3 DAY HEADACHE” and “I KNOW BETTER” find themselves. Not only do they tend to feature some of the many lyrical clichés of the genre (see “Can’t help but think that we’ve been overdosing. Tryna eat up all the serotonin”, and “And I can’t admit. That it tastes like shit. I know I can quit whenever. I know better”), but they both lend themselves to be quite predictable in their structure and vocal delivery also. That being said, the latter is somewhat rescued thanks to it’s particularly catch chorus.

Thankfully, “ALEXITHYMIA” is a genuine banger, and really helps to pick the pacing of the album back up considerably. Rich in emotional lyricism, and paired with some of the best songwriting on the album, it makes the past two tracks disappear into memory, and even features a rather humorous mid-song skit, which juxtaposes the song’s rather serious meaning without being so joyful that it makes it weird.

Similar serious themes can be found between the very reminiscent riffs and acoustic lulls of track “SUBTITLES“, discussing the inability to deal with the overstimulating surroundings of the world, and how it can be hard to understand things beyond face value. As well as the emphatic, “ALL THE SAME NOT THE SAME“, which features some Morello-esque guitar distortion in parts, and focuses on the difficulties on trying to be free from the shackles of a disorder in the day to day life.

Throughout the album we do get a unique insight thanks to Noah’s experience on being a popular vlogger from such a young age, much of which has helped to inform the album. This includes the exhaustion he vents about on “RISE AND GRIND”, in which he discusses the idiocrasy of popular influence culture, and the pressure to make money by pushing products to a willing audience. While it’d be easy to keep criticising the lack of innovation, it’s a light-hearted track which will probably resonate better with a younger audience than it does with me.

SCUMBAG” sees Noah face-up to the TERFS, a struggle he’s fought for years since he came out as transgender back in 2017, and especially since his transition was so public. It’s a triumphant disassembly of those who’s lives revolve around regurgitating unnecessary hate, and is arguably one of the most important tracks of the album. Meanwhile the penultimate “LOVELY LADIES” is a ruckus track continuing on much of the same conversation as the previous track, with sinister lyricism, particularly in the “Show me yours, I’ll show you mine” chorus ender.

The final track of the album is the hyperpop-tinged “GIBBERISH“, and although it carries slightly more grandeur than the rest of the album, it certainly feels to be lacking some of the enormity that a closing track demands.

So, in an attempt to make a wave with his debut, Noah manages instead to make something of a splash. For those well-versed in the genre, the structure and nature of the songs will be predictable, and while I can understand the inclusion of the glitching-effects and overworked aspects of the production, they sometimes feel much more like a gimmick. However, and despite my criticisms, Noah’s debut doesn’t necessarily miss the mark. It’s an album that will no doubt lead many people into the deeper world of alternative music. And will benefit greatly from its unique ability to discuss some of the more serious themes that have been experienced both by Noah and many of his fans, all while maintaining that charming youthful exuberance.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.