I recently joined a pop punk appreciation group on Facebook called “Defend Pop Punk”. I noticed a lot of bands using the page to spread the word about their bands or the bands they were fans of and the bands free EP’s so I made an offer. I asked if anyone knew of any bands that were giving out free EP’s and in return I’d give the EP a review. I was flooded with several EP’s so I decided to make a sort of competition out of it. I’ve reviewed what I considered to be the best EP and include all the others in a sort of short round up. Philadelphia pop punkers First Things First’s five track EP was the best in my opinion.

First Things First are a four piece pop punk band from Philadelphia USA and the fact that they’re from the city of brotherly love shows in the EP which is care free and fun. The band spent most of their career using social networks to their maximum potential by forging links with others in the music industry. Again this shows in their EP, recorded with producer Brooks Paschal who worked with established bands like Versamerge, the EP has been finished and polished to a great standard.

This EP doesn’t feel like it was recorded by a pop punk band at first. The electronic synth with infectious riffs feels more like one of the various sub-genres like popcore. With the synth filled first track Let the Good Times Roll… and acoustic final track, pop punk melody Broken Limits (We’re So Caught Up In This) the EP moves along the boundaries without ever being a full on pop punk or popcore affair, instead it transcends both boundaries combining the best of both genres. Third track Queen of Mixed Signals has a great pace to it and is a pure feel good track which is the bands mantra, what they stand for. The lyrics are about a girl who sends mixed signals (could probably tell that by the title…). The stand out track on the EP is Stuck on Repeat, an infectious party track that will have you bouncing around the room. The guitar and bass riff and pounding drums are applied brilliant making the track feel slow whilst keeping the track bouncing along. The vocals are smooth and the lyrics are about changing friendships again another subject everyone can relate to.

I give this EP 7/10 as it’s a great EP for a just starting band. The only issue I really have with the EP is it can be a little repetitive at times and its only when the band break the mould a little with Stuck on Repeat that it makes you sit up and want to re-listen to the EP again. For a free EP though this is fantastic genre transcending, electronic pop punk goodness.

Sounds like: All Time Low, Early I See Stars, Forever the Sickest Kids

Listen to: The whole EP! It’s free from First Things First’s band camp