A few days ago I joined a pop punk appreciation group on Facebook and noticed a lot of just starting and unsigned bands giving out free EPs. I posted on the group asking if there were any bands whom had free EPs who wanted a review, if so they could send me them and I’d oblige. I wasn’t expecting as many as I received. I was sent about six altogether so I decided rather than writing each EP a review I’d do a sort of competition where the EP I preferred would get their own review and the others would be included in a round up. Here is the round up and the review will follow tomorrow.

FLS – Only Up From Here

I can’t actually find this bands Facebook page so I can’t give much background information except FLS stands for Forever Losing Sleep and they delivered a pretty good EP. The vocals throughout the album remind me of Anti Flag and the riffs and drums are simplistic like pop punk should be. Occasionally the EP strays close to being repetitive but there’s always a moment of innovation in the riff or the drum beat that makes you sit up and listen. The title of the EP is apt it’s only up from here for FLS. I give the EP 3/5.

Kids These Days – Manifest Destiny

South Jersey pop punkers Kids These Days are leaving a pretty good impression on the scene at the minute. After completing tours with big names like Handguns and Major Leagues the band released debut EP Manifest Destiny which combines pop punk fun with the heaviness of popcore bands like Four Year Strong. At first the pop punk is the most obvious element with the first two tracks 80 MPHandoff and On my way and I felt I’d been misled on the product but after the first two all other tracks display the popcore influences with heavy breakdowns and speedy drums. The EP is recorded to a high standard and this defiantly came a close second to the winning review. I give this EP 4/5. http://www.facebook.com/kidsthesedaysnj

Stuck At Second – Cigarettes & Friends

I’m not going to lie; I went into this EP not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. The EP is a short one at only two tracks but it takes the best parts of pop punk and creates two tracks. Electric fun first track Cigarettes had me nodding along the whole way through. It’s kinetic and a little angry sounding but never loses its pop punk roots. Friends the second and final track is a heartfelt acoustic track which reminds me of early Man Overboard. It’s a great short EP which takes the fun and the heartfelt elements of pop punk and mirrors them in two tracks. I just wish it was longer! I give the EP 3.5/5. http://www.facebook.com/stuckatsecondCTrespect

Think Big! – Changes

The brilliantly named Think Big! are easily the most successful band in the round up. An American band signed to labels in the UK and Japan the band is set to take the scene by storm as the next up and coming band. Their EP mixes pop punk and popcore in an excellent blend of aggression and light heartedness. The riffs and drums speed through each track at break neck speed and keep the listener’s attention throughout the EP and the vocals stray from clean to yelled again keeping the aggression and light hearted mix going. It can sometimes get a little repetitive but apart from that this is a damn good EP. I hope to see more of them in the UK soon. I give this EP 3.55. http://www.facebook.com/Thinkbigpa

With Glowing Hearts – Hang in There

Again I judged by appearance here. The artwork for the EP was a little off putting as its orange with an animated sloth on it and yet again I was surprised. Glowing Heart’s Hang in There is as old school as it can be. Unlike all the other bands in the round up With Glowing Hearts go with a mixture of pop punk, 80’s hardcore and old school punk. The EP is eccentric with the first track containing almost no lyrics and third track being about the singer’s friend Ryan who has to put up with the lead singer antics, the EP is a little out there yet that makes it a breath of fresh air. The riffs and drums pummel the listener yet you have a great time whilst listening I give the EP 4/5. http://www.facebook.com/WGHband

All the bands featured in the round up are giving their EPs away for free on their Facebook pages and Bandcamp pages. I’d like to thank the bands for sending me their EPs as it’s been a pleasure listening to them.