I’m honestly super excited to have a night off. I had a great weekend full of amazing shows and seeing some great friends from out of town but holy crap it took it out of me and I’m looking forward to just making some dinner and listening to some new music so let’s see if Side Note’s ‘Lakeside Hiatus’ is the perfect soundtrack to some dinner cookin’!

This five-song EP kicks off with “Make Over”. I was instantly smiling as the song kicked in and that smile only widened as the vocals came in. There’s something familiar about Side Note’s sound. It’s definitely very pop-punk but there’s this more indie-rock instrumentation behind the classic pop-punk vocals that struck me as being super unique with this opening track. Don’t get me wrong, overall, this song is very pop-punk but there’s just something so intriguing about the instrumentation and overall compensation that keeps it from feeling generic or just like everything else I listen to on a daily basis.

“Treetop Sunset” definitely has more of that powerful pop-punk instrumentation that fits with the vocals in a very perfect way. That being said, there’s still something about this track that makes Side Note stand out to me. Maybe it’s just the power with which every note is played or the almost post-punk-styled vocals in this one– regardless, we are only on the second track of this five-song EP and this band has already hit me with a curveball with this second track. Although a super fun and infectious track, there’s something so full of heart with the vocals in this track and I think that will be another signature of this band that is heard throughout the remaining tracks.

Even though “Spin” seems to show a more tender side of this band with a slightly slower tempo and an almost more intentional vibe to it, I was still smiling as it played through. The longest track on the album, you really get to see the instrumental talent of this band and the way they actually put thought into the movement and composition of their tracks. Although not my favorite track on the EP, this one definitely got a second listen before I was able to move onto “Eye 5 Drive” which brings the tempo back up but not to a rapid pace or even predictable pop-punk speed. I like how, although overall, this band is clearly a pop-punk band, they refuse to let their music be boxed in just that package and this song is the perfect example of that.

Although I truly never wanted ‘Lakeside Hiatus’ to end, “Good Start” ends this quick EP in the best way possible and was instantly my favorite track on this track. From the distinct vocals to that signature instrumentation and the overall pop-punk drenched vibe, this track had me bopping up and down in my desk chair like a freak. A perfect culmination of all of the amazing elements heard in the previous tracks, this was seriously the perfect final song but it wasn’t an ending. As the track ended, I found myself forgetting about anything else I have to do tonight and digging for more music from this amazing band.

My Favorite Track(s): “Good Start”

For Fans Of: Pop-Punk Nostalgia; Indie Rock Vibes

Mosh-ability: 1 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept right next to my desk; Autumn slept on the bench under the front window

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 9.2 out of 10

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