Get Stoked

Washington Street EP

Written by: LF on 01/09/2014 16:36:09

Pop punkers Get Stoked from Mount Pleasant, Michigan, are newcomers to the scene. This EP release is their debut, and while their name mostly summons up memories of The Wonder Years' "Get Stoked On It!" for me, they are more akin to bands like Four Year Strong and Set Your Goals, pulling elements of melodic hardcore into their pop punk.

The EP kicks off with an instrumental intro that spans about 1½ minutes, and which somehow never gets anywhere, which confuses me a bit. It serves to showcase the overall sound of the band of course, but is structured in sections that make it feel like it might as well be an instrumental version of a song. On a debut EP release I feel like it might serve the band better to just get right down to business. Fortunately this happens immediately after as the intro fades into "Actions Speak Louder Than Words", which is pretty much a generic pop punk song. The thing is, this EP has all the fundamental elements of pop punk down, and showcases a band that knows how to combine these building blocks into mostly well-flowing, energetic tunes. From "Actions..." and right down until the final second of the last song, it has gang vocals, breakdowns, catchy melodies, and some nice changes in tempo. Unfortunately all these elements are pretty cliché for the genre by now, and this exact way of putting them together doesn't allow the band to communicate any distinct personality of their own. Thus, with this EP release Get Stoked have blipped unto my radar mostly as a band that needs to work on their songwriting.

Initially I was very sympathetic towards the EP, and especially towards the song "Forward Progress" because it has what is arguably the best working melody of the songs presented here. Of the things that work well on this EP, the verses of "Hand In Your Demise" stand out as well with some spot on harmonies and a main riff that complements the vocals excellently. The breakdown that marks the beginning of the end of the song however seems like it has been placed there without a specific purpose, the guitars just chugging away, leaving me wondering why they would include it and not work to make it distinct in any way. That wondering is exactly what nags at me for the most part when listening to Get Stoked. It's like every single element works just alright, and this leaves the overall impression sort of lacking, to the point where I struggle to stay focused on it, because the songs simply don't command my interest strongly enough. The catchy elements are not quite catchy enough to latch onto my brain, the breakdowns only occasionally make my head bop a little, and the lyrics aren't remarkable enough to wake me up.

On the positive side, the band succeeds in communicating an uncompromising energy, and the EP comes off sounding mostly as an organic whole. There are no obvious shortcomings that are downright disappointing to hear in the music, and the fact that Get Stoked accomplish this gives me hope that they might just be able to release something more interesting next time, if they get to work on their songwriting and on creating a sound that is more their own.


Download: Hand in Your Demise, Forward Progress
For The Fans Of: Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals, A Day To Remember, Such Gold, The Wonder Years

Release date 19.08.2014
Imminence Records

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