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7 out of 10
I’m very much a fan of interesting marketing ideas and so the planned Weekend Trilogy series of mini albums from Texan pop-punk act Forever The Sickest Kids (FTSK) instantly appealed. It didn’t hurt that I had been pleasantly surprised by their 2008 debut ’Underdog Alma Mater’, their boundless enthusiasm and use of quirky dance beats more than making up for the fact that the album didn’t have many real quality tracks.
The same is true here; arguably there are no superb tracks, but equally none, aside from the bonus track 'Hawkbot' that really disappoint. Opener ’Do Or Die’ is a personal highlight with it’s glow stick friendly chorus. The likes of ’She Likes (Bittersweet Love)’ and ’What Do You Want From Me’ follow the template of synthesised pop punk, ’Hip Hop Chick’ lends the album a bit of variety, with a hip hop delivery, funky, quirky beats and a chorus that is both simple, annoying and genius all at the same time. The aforementioned ’Hawkbot’ is only a bonus track and so little can be expected, but it really is poor, a rapping section that sounds like a bad MC Lars coupled with embarrassing robotic voice is not the best way to end a decent EP.
The album sounds like it has been released about 8 years too late to capitalise on the success of Sum 41 and ’American Pie’ party acts. The sound of modern pop-punk is generally more emo-tinged; blame the likes of Fall Out Boy and the ’maturity’ of the later Blink 182 and Green Day records. Personally I prefer my pop punk with a smile on its face, like New Found Glory and Bowling For Soup, who will be bringing FTSK with them on their tour later in the year. Saying this makes FTSK sound dated, but it’s the addition of dance and rap influences that keep them relevant.
I’ll be interested to hear how the Saturday album pans out, after what appears to have been a wild Friday, the band should be youthful enough to follow it up with another energetic performance, after that I’ll expect some kind of chill out album for Sunday! These releases are scheduled for later this year.
1. Do Or Die
2. Tough Love
3. She Likes (Bittersweet Love)
4. Take It Slow
5. Hip Hop Chick
6. What Do You Want From Me
7. Hawkbot ft Chae Hawk (bonus)