Pop punk has a bit of a stigma around it of being light hearted and party tunes; otherwise it’s Emo, right? Why don’t we let you decide and watch the world burn ever so slowly? In the meantime, we’ve got a Kingston, ON five-piece pop punk band by the name of 8-Bit Heroes that just dropped a record called Try Blowing On It and the powers that be have dropped it on my lap. Let the Melodrama roam.
8BH brings a real simple and seldomly sought out blend to the pop punk universe. Incoming grotesque stylistic description. Picture what would happen if Alkaline Trio and Rancid were the stars of Celebrity Fuck Party Four and one of ‘em decided not to rubber up. Nine months later, out pops 8-Bit Heroes and the rest is history with a 90s grunge score to go along with the biopic. Their sound comes out with a generally low fuck count vibe. An angsty drone with brief moments of upbeat all while trying to maintain a relatively retro atmosphere. Like all things, it has its place in the world of art and emotion: the sad scene in a college romcom. The Mark Hoppus “I Miss You” effect one could call it (Patent pending).
When you start to pick apart Try Blowing On It, the good, the bad, and the ugly have a nasty tendency to blend into each other. On one hand, the compositional value can get mundane and redundant but that is also exactly what makes 8BH unique, a relatively upbeat genre but on the south side of the sad tracks (See tunes like “Life As A Vampire” or “Set Myself On Fire” for examples). On another hand, the recording quality carries a common plague of this genre and sports a very garage band tone to it. Dryness all around, misshapen clarities, and monotonies, but yet again we see that this could probably be done intentionally as an attempt to keep that retro cloud overhead. On the last hand, or just balancing on your genitals like a true pro, is the decision of whether or not you actually like everything that you’re hearing.
When the record stops spinning, figuratively speaking, this music pundit has to give points where points are due and take where I deem it. I don’t hate what I heard off this attempt. I do personally think that the low tone ballad style is a little over done while still respecting the point. I definitely want to see a similar effort with a little more money thrown at a higher-level audio quality, but you’re perfectly welcome to fight me over that point. I honestly don’t hate this record, but I also have no need to go back to it. So, fucking there, call me this town and hate me.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Danielle Kenedy