From the "Stay away from my heart" proclamations of "Keep Your Distance" to "What Would Love Do"'s "true love always" professions, it sounds like Home Grown songwriters/vocalists John Tran and Adam Lohrbach have gotten some seasoning in life and love since 2002's sarcasm-laced Kings of Pop LP. The quartet has matured musically too, favoring scrappy guitar intros ("Distance" again) and slight emo inflections over the easily chunky power chords and pogo-ready choruses of Kings. That doesn't mean When It All Comes Down skimps on the melodies, or the rousing guitar breaks that have always been part of Home Grown's sound. But in the layered dynamics in "Cross My Heart," or "I Win, You Lose"'s tense guitar and impressive harmonies, it's clear that Home Grown is moving beyond the pop-punk template.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus