Review Summary: The same old sugar rush with a new touch
Surgically extracting pop-punk and emo songwriting into more tasteful, stylish aesthetics has become sort of a cliche at this point. This is the case for a number of reasons, not least of which is that those melodies are probably the easiest to come up with. The post-Warped Tour market for overdriven mall-ready punk has slowed significantly, resulting in a proliferation of bands pitching "okay what if it was pop-punk but _____" (usually shoegaze). Some of the results have been compelling, but oftentimes the price of evolving the genre has been its joy, as artists prioritize "vibe" and gauze their songs in slow tempos, hazy ambience, and gloomy lyrics. However, this record proves both that the formula has not fully run its course and that fun and energy need not be sacrificed in the hybridization process.
California-based HUNNY play pop-punk the way it should be played: ecstatically. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
is cheerful, tight, and eclectic, distractedly leaping from sonic palette to sonic palette and refusing to simply be "new wave" or "80s" as a novelty or easy pastiche. Bass and dance drum beats drive nearly every song, allowing the guitars and keyboards to experiment with diverse sounds that keep the record sounding continuously fresh. The vocals (which fall somewhere between Andrew McMahon and Tom DeLonge) are on the whole nondescript but also drop no embarrassing lyrics. Often the band sound like if Turnover took Adderall, a dynamic that can be observed in real time on "Saturday Night;" elsewhere they veer slightly too close into sounding like Two Door Cinema Club in checkered vans. This is low-ceiling music, the kind that one might describe as catchy and then realize they don't actually remember how any of the songs go. Nonetheless, the lean 8-song 22-minute run time feels like a really good opener's set, the kind where you turn to your friend and say "damn that was actually really good, what were they called again?"
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
isn't going to change anybody's life, but it'll definitely brighten a lot of days. It's like a bottle of Sunny D in a commercial - sure, it's just sugary orange juice, but look how much better everybody is at skateboarding after drinking it!