A Short Collection Of Short Songs EP

Written by: PP on 20/05/2011 13:11:27

Few bands have a release schedule as busy as the one by Cincinnati, Ohio-based Mixtapes. Where most bands release maybe one EP or full length in a given year, "A Short Collection Of Short Songs" is the fourth Mixtapes release from 2010. And since then they have already released a new EP earlier this month. It's a good way to sell a lot of records, but somewhat frustrating to the regular fan for a number of reasons. First off, Mixtapes are an awesome pop punk band and rarely write a bad song. That said, the majority of their releases contain a couple of smash hits whereas the rest of the songs are merely good, so one should hope for the band to slow down a little to release one superb full length with only great songs instead.

However, the quick succession of releases has ensured that Mixtapes is starting to snowball overseas big time. Their brand of pop punk separates itself from the gray mass by using a ton of awkward melody and utilizing a balanced mix of fast paced punk rock and awkward acoustic pieces. When the band ups the tempo, they share a lot in common with bands like The Wonder Years, though with less of a pop-hardcore vibe and more of a no-frills, easy-going pop punk one instead. These are often feel-good, sing-a-long pieces, simple but yet oh-so-enjoyable in nature. Sometimes all it takes is some distorted guitar and a catchy chorus to make a great song. See "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" or "The Real Hotel California" as examples from this record.

The slow acoustic ballads are no less interesting, surprisingly enough. Where most bands sound cheesy and generic in these songs, Mixtapes sound just as good as on their punked up pieces precisely because of the awkward melody surrounding the tracks. They use a dual-vocal approach on all tracks, with a girl who sounds a little like the shy girl from Lemuria and a guy who you'd compare to Soupy from The Wonder Years. It brings an interesting dynamic, especially when the quiet but emotionally charged vocals are suddenly contrasted with weak gang shouts on the background - keep in mind I'm talking about an acoustic track here.

The two approaches are split rather evenly here, and both work equally well. The band has a great sense for simple melody which is why almost all tracks they write sound awesome. Still, one is left hoping for a full length release instead of littering the world with a gazillion EPs, a record which would act as the defining release for the Mixtapes sound.

Download: The Real Hotel California, Your Little Hoodrat Friend
For the fans of: Lemuria, The Wonder Years
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.11.2010
Animal Style Records

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