“For fans of: MXPX, State Champs, Four Year Strong, (Old) Hawk Nelson, Handguns, The Ataris, Value Pac, and A Loss For Words.” That’s what the press release about Homeplate’s debut ‘Derby City EP’ said. To call that a tall order would be an understatement and to say my hopes were sky high as I hit play on this quick EP would also be an understatement. I realized as soon as I hit play that my endless search for nostalgia may have finally been quenched with this band and this release.

“Broken Youth (ft. Eric Knighton of Brave Days)” kicks off with a catchy bass solo that instantly had me feeling Handguns, The Ataris… okay, fine, their PR rep was dead on with the “for fans of” list. The beat of this opening track is perfectly frantic as it never jumps over to the feeling of being chaotic. Small little breaks in the instrumentation give way to pure pop-punk vocals that instantly had me smiling and dancing around. “Keep your chin up you can’t fight life backwards”. I mean, come on, those lyrics are so pop-punk. I don’t use this word often in my words but this song is freaking flawless and I anxiously awaited the next tracks.

“Time Stands Still” continues with the pure pop-punk sound with nods to the greats of years gone by. Whereas the bass stood out to me in the first song, the guitar seems to take over for this one with a catchy little line of notes that instantly got caught in my head. Power chord, slamming drums, vocals that made me think of Fenix TX… this song has it all but the same can be said for “Expectations (Ft. Phil Carper of At The Wayside)”. Even though this song brings a bit of a darker edge to the table, the sentiment is the same. There’s something a bit more aggressive about this track that I absolutely loved. I would call this my favorite song but, even though only halfway through this EP, it’s clear that every track is my favorite, and picking just one is going to impossible.

Do you like Relient K? If so, “I Need Grace (Ft. New Heights Worship)” is your song. Homeplate slows things way down for this track. Unfortunately, I couldn’t relate to the clear religious aspect of this song but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the pure beauty encapsulated in this track.

Things kick back up with “Long Ago” which kicks off with a very New Found Glory feeling before settling back into a Homeplate’s hybrid style of every band from the early 2000s that I still worship today. This two minute, forty-eight-second song flew by and, before I knew it, I was left in complete silence yet still with a smile that stretched from ear to ear.

Okay, I’ll be honest, I typically ignore what PR reps put in press releases because I feel that they are not typically right and are only used to get my hopes up. As mentioned, my expectations were sky-high for this EP as I hit play and Homeplate absolutely surpassed those expectations. I got my taste of nostalgia with this release but also got a brand of said nostalgia that only Homeplate can pull of. Bravo!

My Favorite Track(s): All of them… Seriously

For Fans Of: The list of acts at the beginning of this blog; nostalgia; pop-punk

Nostalgia-ability: 9.9 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats screamed from the kitchen because it’s dinner time

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 11 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 9.89 out of 10

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