Poor Me is an alchemical merging of charged aggression and killer songwriting. They bark melodies that stick like glue. Their songs crescendo into big choruses and bigger pits. Catharsis comes and goes in a mass of sweating bodies, fists raised to the stage. This is skate punk dragged into the now—where fast drums, muscular riffs, and razor-wire lyrics unite to document a world more fucked than ever. This is Poor Me.
Formed in 2010, Denver, CO’s Poor Me has always been a passion project. Members Brett Delaney (vocals), Nick Chmel a.k.a GIR (drums), Nick Butler (guitar), Jason McWhinnie (guitar/backups), and Mike Goyn (bass/backups) all work real jobs. They all come from humble beginnings. And they all make music like their life depends on it.
Punk rock isn’t a road to riches (anyone who’s ever seen a sticker-caked tour van knows that), but Poor Me has made good on their time as scene stalwarts. They’ve played with the Flatliners and Alkaline Trio, toured up and down the West coast, and released two full-length albums. But 2021, the present now—the world-is-fucked now—is set to be Poor Me’s biggest year to date. Singles “Heartsick” and “Lovestruck” are due out in July and August, respectively, and Stalemate—their latest full-length—arrives in September.
What can punkers with big hearts and raised fists expect from Stalemate? Singer Brett Delaney had this to say on his writing process: “Lately, I’ve been writing narratives, trying to step into the shoes of another.” This emphasis on storytelling is a driving force in Stalemate, a sort of electric current that runs through the album, touching on themes of growing up, identity, and forgiveness. For Poor Me, punk rock is a vehicle for real talk, it’s a means of expulsion.
“We aren’t a party band,” says Delaney. “We want the songs to have a message of solidarity, be rich in empathy, and make people think.” It’s this empathy that serves as Poor Me’s backbone, but it doesn’t come without a note of hope—this is positive music about making the world a better place, in spite of everything else, humming with the energy and melody of Revolutions per Minute-era Rise Against.
“Life is pretty good,” says Delaney. “We want that for everyone.”
Poor Me will keep singing, strumming, and screaming for that dream, fueled by a passion for a better future.