Review Summary: Street Smart Cyclist's EP showed their stuff in a short, three song album. This album showed what greatness could of been achieved by the band, and the passion that they each held for their music. The songs on this EP are songs that can make me dance, sob
Ok, before I review this album, I need to tell you something that some people don't know. Emo concerts are like nothing anyone has ever experienced. These "Underground" shows are sweaty, cramped, hot, smelly, and painful. Alot of the time these shows are held in tiny basements and filled with pretentious and mostly annoying people who make me want to stab something. That in mind, Street Smart Cyclist is the band that made me love everything about underground shows, and are the reason why I got so into them that I now constantly attend.
This EP is something special. Many Emo bands have similar qualities, and Street Smart Cyclist (also known as SSC) is no exception. This EP does carry some of the traits of other Emo bands, but it does so with grace, and in such a way that by using these old techniques, they create something completely new and beautiful.
When you first pop this album on, your greeted with the intro to Hoods Up!, a song that my friends and I still use as our Emo rallying cry. This song garners a sort of battle cry, in that it gets you pumped and ready to dance and jump. The opening is a build up, so that when the vocals finally come crashing in, you're pumped and ready to roll. Hoods Up! is a great example of how great a first song can be, as it makes you want to dance and sing, and also preludes well to the other songs. You don't go from one extreme to the other when switching songs, you go from the fast vocals and melodic, smooth guitar of Hoods Up! to the the slightly harsher guitar and fast and passionate vocals of Pastor of Muppets. Everything flows well, but without becoming so smooth and repetitive that the songs meld into one. All of these tracks have an individualism to them, in that their sound is always different, and always tells a story in their own. Yes, there is a bit of repetition in the songs themselves, but they use this repetition in such a way that it increases the dramatic build up within the songs, making the climax of each one that much better.
Now, referring back to what I opened with (Yes, that little story had a point). SSC held some of the best shows that I was ever fortunate enough to attend. Street Smart Cyclist can boast some of the most passionate fans that I have ever seen one band have. Imagine Red Sox Fans compound with an American Nationalist and you get something like a SSC fan. These people are the kind who have traveled days to come support their buds in the band, and in turn Street Smart Cyclist always put on a show that made me happy to be alive. Every fan saw something marvelous and fantastic in this short EP, and memorized it to the letter. At shows, the fans knew every lyric and could dance to the guitar pieces all night. Some may not agree, but I believe that the loving gestures that Street Smart Cyclist fans exhibited over the years (driving 10 hours for a show, cooking breakfast for the band, letting the band crash at their place, etc) is a tribute to the amazing and powerful sound that Street Smart Cyclist was able to create in this EP, and in their full length album.