Artist: Post Season
Title: Hollowed Out Hearts
Released: 25th October 2014
For a little while now it has felt like pop-punk has been taking itself too seriously. It has moved away from its foul-mouth, dick humour and DIY origins into being the younger, less cool brother of Alt-Rock and Metalcore. It has started to resemble an emotionally sensitive kid with a fringe, a book of bad poetry and a lip ring. It is synonymous with emo. It is Pete Wentz, basically.
But here is a fun fact: I had a fringe, I had a book of dreadful poetry and I still have a lip ring. I like my pop-punk and, with that in mind, I have to say that Hollowed Out Hearts by Post Season is a solid EP, despite the lack of dick jokes.
Frankly, it doesn't start all that strong. Opening number No Brains, No Headache feels like a B-side or forgettable album filler. It is fast paced pop-punk by numbers that is equal parts Hit The Lights and The Starting Line, but with none of the key selling points of either.
It is followed by the title track of the EP which, it is fair to say, steps things up a notch. It's a good example of the modern day, Kerrang! Radio friendly rock that hits its pace quickly and stays there, consistently throwing out catchy, bouncy melancholy. A classic palm muted breakdown bursts into a confident, faintly post-rock half time ending that left me wondering favourably about its live potential. It's not quite the song writing excellence of such genre classics as All Time Low's Dear Maria, Count Me In, but it isn't too far off.
The rest of the EP follows much the same route. My Bad is more of an interlude than a song, just one minute, six seconds of acoustic guitar and distant crashy drums that lead neatly into penultimate track Picture Frame Eyes. Again, this is a well shaped, angsty slice of anthemic rock-pop with subtle guitar lines and a rewardingly chunky chorus. The final track, It's All Part Of It, is another fast, gang-vocal-and-mosh kind of affair with puberty-induced reflective lyrics and, overall, it's hard not to enjoy (assuming you are into that kind of thing).
I can't pretend that I didn't have fun with this EP, and if you like The Starting Line, Hit The Lights and Fall Out Boy then it's fair to say that you will probably get something out of it too. I should say, however, that originality isn't something that Post Season can rightfully be accused of. There is unquestionably the spark of good songwriting here, they've hit the genre on the head and I know that I would have been into this when I was 16. But that was nearly ten years ago now and it might have been nice to see a little musical progression. That said, I suppose pop-punk works for a reason: and if this EP appeals to a new generation of fans that haven't heard it one too many times already, then fair enough I suppose.