I’m sorry, but if you’re still making pop-punk in 2020, Henri’s Bucketlist Music Reviews rating tops out at 7/10. This EP is yet another great effort lacking in musical originality.
Don’t get me wrong; I love pop-punk as much as the next person. I grew up with it like everyone else in ‘90s North America. In fact, I had fun relistening to Green Day’s Dookie after reading Shawn’s fantastic Rearviewmirror piece about it just a couple of weeks ago.
I also enjoyed The Fallaways’ 6-song, 17-minute EP, Sunset Ave, released independently July 17th, 2020. It absolutely rips! This band is tight, and they are led by charismatic singer Jason Koster, whose genre-appropriate nasal voice has just enough grit to be convincing. However, I didn’t experience anything near the level of excitement my teenage self did when I first discovered albums like Dookie.
That’s because pop-punk was crystallized by a handful of big names like Blink-182, The Offspring and Good Charlotte during a short time period. Everything subsequent to that can be considered a glorified tribute.
That’s the only thing that’s really wrong with this EP, though! Otherwise, it’s a fun collection of songs. Opening track “Dumb” embodies the youthful party mentality that is so essential to much of punk rock in general: “I wanna be stupid just like you!” Afterwards, the self-deprecating vibe comes in with “Feeling Low.” I think we can forgive the guys here for using chord progressions and melodies we’ve all heard before; after all, there’s only so much you can do with power chords.
And so on, and so forth. The Fallaways keep the party going with a decent but forgettable EP that only die-hard fans of pop-punk will truly drool over. It’s kind of cool that they decided to “break the rules” by closing this one with the slow, brooding “Still Alive,” but it takes a bit more than that to pique my musical curiosity.
Written by Henri Brillon
*Edited by Dominic Abate