Album Review: Hot Mulligan – Honest & Cunning

I’ve been diving into the tag system of Bandcamp to help me discover more music. I recently stumbled across Save Your Generation Records’ page, which just happens to be based out of Detroit, picked a random album to listen to and have had said album on repeat ever since. Hot Mulligan mixes up pop punk and emo goodness in a way that I am unable to resist. Their sophomore EP, Honest & Cunning, has potential oozing out of its four tracks leaving me on the edge of my seat as I wait for more new music.

“I Played Tony Hawk’s RIDE Once and It Sucked” kicks the EP off with a with an energetic with howling vocals that will have you up on your feet in no time. The chorus settles into a jangly guitar riff allowing the listener a short reprieve before screaming vocals jump the track back into high gear for the finish.

“M.O.M.” sounds like a quintessential pop punk track from back in the early aughts when it was basically the only music coming through my headphones. The chorus reminds me a bit of The Front Bottoms due to the cadence of vocalist, Tades Sanville’s, voice as he sings “And your smile oh your smile I could never forget.” Sanville pours a lot of emotion into his vocals so that you can really feel the yearning of loving a person that is in love with someone else which is mirrored in Chris Freeman’s frantic drums before the closing lines of the track.

“Jimmy Neutron Had a Dog So Why Can’t I Have a Friend” showcases the lyrical prowess of the band as they reach Into It. Over It. levels of charm. “The bill can’t be too much the truth is that I can’t spend enough / Fix my social distrust with something pumping gas instead of blood / Hours are nothing to automaton something / Agree with me please; don’t act like I’m shunning connections and friends for simple synapses / Love doesn’t work, and you’re proof of that happening.” Sanville sings on the opening verse. The buoyant, catchy guitar riffs make the track sound so upbeat and fun until you take a moment to really listen to the lyrics.

EP closer, “I’m Tuning to O-Positive,” comes screaming into your ears with a burst of pop punk glory. The guitars are sparse and simple allowing the howling vocal harmonies to shine through. It doesn’t take long for the affecting lyrics to spark and you’ll find yourself screaming along to this punk pop anthem in no time.

Honest & Cunning is chock full of potential and pop punk goodness that should perk any fan of the genre’s ears right up. Most of all it will leave you wanting more and there’s nothing better for an up and coming band that loads of anticipation for their next release.

Honest & Cunning is available through Save Your Generation Records on Amazon, Bandcamp, Google, and iTunes

The band has also announced some winter tour dates:

Hot Mulligan Tour Poster