Bad Year – Isolated EP
Label: Good Enuf Records
Release Date: 4/28/2015
For Fans Of: The Starting Line, With The Punches, This Time Next Year
By Ryan Crider
Modern pop punk is an interesting genre where bands can stay fairly formulaic and still make popular and enjoyable music. With Bad Year’s debut EP, Isolated, you won’t hear many groundbreaking things coming from this Orlando, FL band, but this doesn’t act as a hindrance to the band. On the contrary, it allows for a comfortable but familiar sort of feeling while listening that makes you think you could be crowd surfing to it after only one listen.
From the opening guitar riff and chants of “It’s been a bad year!” in the first track, you know what you’re in for with this album, but there are still some surprises and fun to be had. “Bad Year” and “713” are paired so perfectly together that you can easily imagine them being consistent setlist starters for the band’s future live shows. People familiar with other FL artists might catch the borrowed Insignificant Other lyric in “Honesty,” the third song on the album. As well, anyone familiar with Bad Year before the EP will probably notice the now-acoustic “Taft Street,” their first song released as a band. It can catch you off guard, as it is also the only acoustic song on the album and falls close to the end of the 6-song EP at song number five, but allows the band to explore the more pop side of pop punk and show their skilled harmonies. The album ends with “Roots,” which at first seems to end the album in the same vein as the rest of it, until some very uplifting trombone (played by Jeremy Hunter) swoops in, perfectly complimenting the yelled lyrics and closing off the album.
Should you be expecting some groundbreaking new sound with Isolated? No. But what you should be expecting is a short but enjoyable collection of songs perfect for crowdsurfing and finger pointing. With the all of the band’s influences already leaking through on this EP, there’s no telling how this young band will evolve with each album, but there’s no doubting there will be many future bangers.
Last modified: June 29, 2015