Although we are already into a new year, it’s hard not to reflect back on the summer of 2020 as the ‘Friendless Summer’. It’s not that I don’t have friends. I actually do and they are kind of the best friends of all time, but all of the plans we had for this last summer went down the toilet along with so many other plans. I try not to focus on the heartbreak that this brought me and am trying to look forward to this new year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed yet I was still drawn to this quick EP to review tonight.

The opening track, “Bonejaw”, may only be a minute and eight seconds long, but it absolutely set the tone for what Magazine Beach brings to the table as a band. Starting off with a news segment stating the date as being in August 2020 before blasting off into a pop-punk bliss. “I know it’s getting harder to hold on tight. Don’t forget it’s never better on the other side.” Sure, a little pessimistic but also something that I think pegs 2020 perfectly and creates the perfect opening for this quick EP.

“I Don’t Mind” had me tapping my toe and nodding my head instantly. The infectious beat missed with the almost garage-punk vocal styling was not quite how I saw my sleepy Sunday night going but it is seriously perfect. There’s something oh so familiar about the sound of Magazine Beach but also something so very fun, distinct, and new about it. Although the title of this album and the intro still rang in my head as a constant reminder of the mess we all live in right now, “I Don’t Mind” was a great distraction until I really started reading into the vocals. With words about just kind of not caring about anything, it was hard not to reflect back on how that mentality seemed to plague me through all of the heartbreaks and aches that I was plagued with throughout the past year.

“How Many Bees? (3 Pounds)” continues ith the anthemic pop-punk vibe while bringing a very driving rock sound to the front and an almost Motion City Soundtrack styled synth (or guitar… or something) sound. There’s also a very Joyce Manor style to this track when it comes to the vocals and sentiment. Although the beat is a high tempo and fun, the lyrics aren’t always as optimistic as the infectious beat. Again, I may have been a bit more in the mood for something a bit slower and calmer but I was instantly sold on Magazine Bach with this song and listened to this one a couple of times before moving onto “Twilight Baseball Scene”.

“Twilight Baseball Scene” was an instant favorite of mine and instantly landed on my daily playlist within the first couple of seconds. The track is a bit in your face but also almost calming in a way to know that someone else has the exact same feelings that I do. “40s in a gnarly parking lot”– I mean, come on. Sure, I’m not 40 and I have a feeling the members of this band aren’t either but, after getting through 2020, it sometimes feels like we all aged a couple of tens of years so is this statement really that off point?

Closing out this all too quick EP is the title track “Friendless Summer”. Magazine Bach doesn’t slow down for this final track and I love it. They also don’t stray from the gut-hitting lyrics that had me in love with this band from the first track. “I’m not depressed, I’m just really fucking sad all the time”. Although some (including myself) may laugh at that, it’s a very simple yet perfect line for so many people right now. Again, the upbeat nature of the instrumentation doesn’t quite match that heartbreaking sentiment but that just adds to the magic of this EP and this band.

Even with the all too honest lyrics in this release, the EP ends with the line “Please stay alive cause you make me feel better”. I think this line hit me harder than anything else I’ve heard lately. This past year has sucked for everyone and I think we all had these moments where giving up didn’t sound like the worst idea. We made it to the new year and I know we didn’t wake up the other day to everything being back to normal but I truly am so glad to see you all in this new year. Cheers to 2021! We made it ya’ll!

My Favorite Track(s): “Twilight Baseball Scene”

For Fans Of: Pop-Punk; Angst; Lyrics

Dance-ability: 7 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It:  Artie slept right next to my speakers: Autumn slept on the back of my couch

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8.7 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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Check out ‘Friendless Summer’ HERE!

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