It may seem that Mixtapes only just released their latest album, ‘Even on the Worst Nights’ and that this is a mighty quick follow up to such a great album. This is because the songs for ‘How To Throw A Successful Party’ have been lingering around for ages, originally released as a bonus download to those who bought 2011’s ‘Maps And Companions’, and now it is now being released proper. It’s got a vinyl pressing and everything; it’s time to get stoked as everyone’s favourite Cincinnati based pop-punkers are back.
This is not the high-energy, sugar-coated pop-punk that Mixtapes are famed for, as they explore a softer and more introspective side to their music; In short, this is an acoustic album. It loses none of the earnestness and passion of their other releases which have been littered with similar offerings.
The album opens with ‘10AM (How To Successfully Start The Day)’ and begins the chronicling of a day in the life of Mixtapes. Despite the album having a different dynamic to previous Mixtapes releases, the lyrics cover the same ground; they are funny and touching anecdotes of life in a punk band that encompass relationships, friends, hometowns and everything in between.
‘Noon (Protest Song)’ is a rebellion against soulless music and the pitfalls of fortune and fame and it speaks of a band that are comfortable and happy in the music they make. It’s refreshing and relaxing to see a band not try hard to look cool but just enjoy the music they make. Mixtapes are not a pretentious band; they are a band that love making music as a group of friends and this is what makes their songs so great.
One of the best melodies and sweetest moments on the album comes from ‘4PM (Stupid Famous Quotes.)’ It is delicate and heartfelt and lyrically relatable (to this reviewer, anyway,) creating a real highlight of the album.
If there is one criticism of this album, it’s that the songs are very much of the same ilk as the rest of Mixtapes’ back catalogue; songs like ‘2PM (How to End Something Good)’ will sound very familiar to fans of their previous releases. However, this is not really an issue. The album’s delicate acoustic songs are more than enjoyable and each has a distinct personality despite all being three-chord singalongs.
Mixtapes’ songs may be short and simple but they are personal and fun. Aesthetically, they are messy but there’s a lot of heart in their recordings. If you like to date girls only for their looks, then these guys probably won’t appeal, but these guys have got the best personality in the world, and all the love to give; give them a listen and I’m sure you’ll love them like they love you.
‘How To Throw A Successful Party’ by Mixtapes is released on October 30th on Animal Style.
Words by Tom White (@whiteywitters)