Tag Archives: EP Review

Capital Cities – Swimming Pool Summer

Swimming Pool Summer EP Review
Jaydee Grice

Swimming Pool Summer is just how it sounds– a great playlist for the growing heat and days spent swimming. It has a very unique sound, typical of Capital Cities, but even more electronic than most of their previous releases.

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Jacksonville Florida’s Teen Divorce Release First EP

Teen Divorce – Almost Heaven EP Review

Jacksonville Florida emo/punk pop trio Teen Divorce dropped their self produced debut EP Almost Heaven, late this winter, in the midst of 2017 tour leg. The record has a unique and nostalgic feel despite a fairly modern indie sound. It’s heartfelt and almost accidentally catchy. Their music is obviously genuine and I see a lot of potential in their work as they move forward through upcoming tour dates and a future full length record.

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Blackout Balter: Debut EP Twist & Bend

“They have taken this gem out the rubble and polished it to brilliance.”

(Editor: This is so odd – this was one of our most read album reviews ever with well over 1,000 Likes on Facebook, but the damn Facebook widget got stuck on 4 Likes. Rest assured Phil, this one was pretty damn popular – well done!)

Check out this mention from the band, and note that this link had over 1,000 Likes!
Check out this mention from the band, and note that this link had over 1,000 Likes!

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American Killers – Real Rock Returns

I have always been a fan of threesomes…

Both on a very personal level, as well as from the perspective of the power trio. I can rattle of many of my most favorite bands….. Rush, Nirvana, Motorhead, Cream, Melvins….. All effortlessly more powerful, more graceful, and sexier than their 4 and 5 person counterparts.

American Killers YOung Blood EP Album Cover
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Sugar – Sweet Nectar for Metal Fans

Fit For Rivals – Sugar EP Review

This album grabbed my attention from the very first spellbinding keyboard notes ushering in the opening track, the fantastic “Special Kind Of Crazy.”  I was hooked immediately and the quick four song journey just got progressively better.

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Choir Vandals Demand Attention

choir vandals band (640x427)

Choir Vandals – At Night EP Review

Two months ago, I received a copy of this EP and was intrigued by the band’s unique approach to alternative rock, but I decided not to review the music, as it was released four months earlier, and wasn’t really “new” music anymore. But, over that time, I’ve thought about the band frequently.

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So, now, two months later with the music further removed from it’s release date, I’ve finally succumbed and taken the dive into the music that I should have reviewed two months ago.

Choir Vandals are a fresh quartet out of St. Louis. Yup, that’s right – St. Louis, Missouri, the home of, um, of, well, no one, I suppose; at least not if you are a fan of rock music. But, if there’s anything right in the rock music world, Choir Vandals will be that band in a few years.

The band formed a mere two years ago, and released their second EP, At Night in October 2014, and it’s truly a captivating collection of songs. Four very diverse offerings, each one quite compelling in its own fantastic way. As a common thread, the lyrics throughout seem to be tinged with a sense of frustration or angst, but the music on each song is quite distinctive. If I had to compare them to any musicians, I’d lean more towards early Cage The Elephant or Arctic Monkeys, but they truly have a style all their own.

The first offering, “Monsters” explodes through the speakers as a distorted, fuzzy rocker powered by Wil McCarthy’s aggressive drums, a dominant bass groove from Josh Cameron and fantastic passionate lyrics. It’s a track that absolutely deserves airplay somewhere, and if you don’t do anything else after reading this review, buy this track (Here’s the link: Monsters – Choir Vandals).

“Medicate” features “early Edge-ian” guitars from Micah Kelleher, although the song sounds absolutely nothing like U2. Austin McCutchen’s vocals are captivating and dominate this fast-paced offering. You’ll find yourself tapping along happily despite the pained, dark lyrics.

The final two tracks dial back the adrenaline a bit, but in doing so, provide the quartet another canvas to display their diverse talents. On “At Night And In The Rain,” I have more than a few pleasant flashbacks to early Replacements garage rock, while “Watch At Night” has more of a dirge feel.

All told, it’s quite the creative EP, and one that I can’t seem to keep out of my ears. Grab the 6131 Records release now and see for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.

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Get Busy Living EP Review

Get Busy Living – All Good Memories Fade EP Review

Get Busy Living band

The Manhattan, Kansas based band, Get Busy Living has been busy living since their debut EP, Won’t Back Down. Fans of their first EP will be pleased to hear that the band has released their second EP, and if you were a fan of the first, you won’t be disappointed by the second.

I have mixed feelings about the band’s most recent EP, All Good Memories Fade, but at the end of the day I love the new EP for all the same reasons that I loved the original EP. Get Busy Living just plain kick ass and I truly believe that if the band had started making music five years earlier, a lot more people would have heard of them. They remind me of a time when pop punk ruled the world; a time when bands like Four Years Strong and Mayday Parade were thought of as gods and everyone’s pants were a little bit tighter. However, it’s Get Busy Living’s commitment to their genre that I enjoy so much. This is a band that refuses to sellout and their latest EP is cold hard proof of that.

All Good Memories Fade is the stuff that mosh-pits are made out of. It’s hard not to jump around when you hear the heavy guitar riffs throughout the album. Just like the band’s first EP, All Good Memories Fade is not afraid to bring it hard with every instrument. The drums kick, the guitars wail, and the bass matters; it’s the band’s willingness to play each instrument as hard as they can that really embodies the soulful pop punk feel throughout the EP; Not to mention the dual vocals that reminds the listener of the band’s heavy influence from Four Years Strong.

The lyrics on the album are light and simple in the best of ways. The band knows how they feel and they’re not afraid to put it out there. It’s the feelings behind the lyrics that remind the listener that it’s pop music, and it’s the simplicity behind them that remind the listener that it’s punk music. The fourth song on the EP, “The Last Five Years” carries perfect examples of this “This girl is not to be trusted, so boys watch out. Just keep your guard up, she’ll rip your heart out”. If that line alone isn’t enough to remind you of Forever the Sickest Kids, the rest of the song will be.

However, it’s the bands reminiscence of their predecessors that I both love and hate. Get Busy Living’s first EP reminded me of everything I love about pop punk. I couldn’t listen to it without thinking about the gods of pop punk. I absolutely loved that about the first album and I love it about the second. Yet, somewhere deep down I was hoping for some maturity or progression, and I don’t know that I hear any of that in the latest EP. It’s really difficult for me to listen to Get Busy Living without thinking of these other pop punk gods. But even as I type these words I realize that my complaint is a hollow one. Sure, the band chose to cover Lil Wayne’s Lollipop on their latest EP, and yes, I’ve heard a very similar cover years prior by Framing Hanley; but who the Hell cares? Get Busy Living is committed to a genre at its purest form and no one can fault them for that.

All in all, I think the success of the latest EP comes down to the individual listening to it. If you like old school, loud, pure pop punk music, than you’re going to love All Good Memories Fade; and if you don’t like that particular kind of music you flat out will not like the EP. At the end of the day Get Busy Living knows what kind of music they’re trying to make and follow through with their vision, quite successfully. Get Busy Living is a band that I don’t think will ever sell out and for that pop punk salutes them; pickup All Good Memories Fade,  today.

Joey Farese