Regular readers will know that I am a massive pop-punk fan and have been since I was a teenager. It’s a genre that not everyone takes seriously because it’s not depressing or angsty like the so-called “cool” genres. The great thing about pop-punk is that it’s not meant to be cool. Pop-punk bands never try to be anything other than what they are -fun-loving, down-to-earth and a little bit nerdy and that’s just one reason I love it.
Stoked Beyond Boredom are a Minneapolis foursome and formed back in 2005 when brother and sister duo Jeff and Sarah moved to Minnesota. They have since been joined by guitarist Chelsea and drummer Santiago and they released a full-length album called Living As One last year. Not Another EP is their second EP and reinforces a happy-go-lucky, quirky sound that is timeless.
It begins with Not Another Love Song, which sees the narrator consider writing a love song but dismissing it. The all-American pop-punk vocals are at large from the beginning and with them comes the undoubtedly catchy melody. A steady bass strums along to the lead vocals and a faint cymbal chimes in the background. There’s a definite similarity to the cheeky sound of New Found Glory but the female voice joining in on the harmonies give it an edge that not all pop-punk bands have. There is also an air of Simple Plan to them, which is seen again later on in the EP amongst rolling metallic riffs.
Middle track is Psycho (Killer Queen), the subject of which reminded me of that in The Bitch Song by Bowling For Soup. The drumsticks provide a countdown to the launch of a summery riff. It’s a classic feel-good tune with Green Day-style punk drums and a catchy rhythm which simply plays over and over again.
Ending on Johnny’s Song, which has a riff not dissimilar to Good Charlotte’s Riot Girl with its sing-song riff and crashing drums. The signature whine in a pop-punk vocal is present all the way through and although that nasally sound isn’t to everyone’s taste, it really complements their style. It’s the perfect moshpit song and I love that Jeff manages to channel a very similar sound to Pierre Bouvier. Simple Plan are one of my favourites and like Stoked By Boredom, they produce young quirky pop-punk with metallic instrumentals, much like the one in this track.
All in all, it’s an EP that is a pop-punk fan’s dream. As a lover of the genre, I feel that my review may have been a bit biased. If you don’t like bands such as Bowling For Soup and Blink 182, then this EP probably isn’t going to be for you. I love that Stoked By Boredom are very much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get band and this really makes them so likeable. I’d love to see them live!