Simple Creatures – Everything Opposite EP
Released: October 11th, 2019
Mark Hoppus // Bass & Vocals
Alex Gaskarth // Guitar & Vocals
Hello again, I’m back reviewing yet another Simple Creatures EP released in 2019. This side project for blink-182‘s Mark Hoppus and All Time Low‘s Alex Gaskarth has gone from being fairly unknown to now a globally recognised outfit, so much so, they scored a spot on the upcoming Good Things Festival where we’ll be able to catch them live for the first time down under… Their last release copped a 6.5/10 from me (review here), but what do I think of the new release, now understanding the purpose and sound of the group? Well, let’s jump into it!
The EP opens with ‘Special‘ which kicks off with a bassy beat and Mark’s iconic vocals. It’s very synth-driven and that bassy beat continues throughout, but the thing that makes this song work is the overlapping vocals between both members. They compliment each other (almost better than what Skiba and Hoppus tried on California), but the chorus doesn’t resonate with me, it sounds a little too distorted and forced. ‘One Little Lie‘ is next and the tempo is instantly picked up for this feel good track that’ll have you singing along in no time. When I try to explain Simple Creatures to people, I tell them it’s like the pop elements of both of their original bands combined with stacks of synth and vibes that come across as cheesy, but are maybe directed towards the younger generations. From now on I’ll just show them this song because I feel that it best represents the bad/group/act and their style. This is without a doubt the best song on this EP and already is a massive step up from the previous EP.
‘Need Me‘ brings in a guitar. That’s a positive, but don’t expect it to be a pop-punk song, it’s more like the guys trying to do something like The Chainsmokers are (only better). Alex’s verses are sexy and highlight the vocal style that man can pull off. Momentarily, I finally saw what all of those 18-19 year old girls saw in him when All Time Low played Soundwave Festival back in their Nothing Personal days. I dig it, it’s a chilled out track and a nice change from their upbeat stuff. ‘The Wolf‘ brings phat bass back and Alex Gaskarth takes centre stage again, owning this track but when Mark joins in, it feels a bit too clustered and like they’ve thrown too many elements in to see what sticks. Not even the distorted guitars at the end can save this one. Sorry lads. ‘NVM‘ is up next and instantly it’s already better than the previous effort with both members bouncing off each other as they belt out the lyrics. The chorus is even upbeat and platable for a passive listener. This is the kind of song you can have playing in the background at a party where you don’t want to focus on the words, just the music and sounds that come from it. I love this one, it’s catchy, fun and I’ll be interested to see how they whip it out during a live show… actually I’m keen to see how their stage set up will be, especially in a festival setting!
The EP wraps up with ‘Thanks, I Hate It‘ which at first, I hated, but over time it has grown on me and has become one of my favourite guilty pleasure songs of the year with how cheesy it sounds. As someone who predominately listens to metalcore and pop punk, normally there’d be no way you’d catch me listening to this at full volume, let alone at a show, but I can’t wait to see this one live and to belt out the words alongside a few hundred people. It’s catchy as fuck, has a huge chorus, loud riffy guitars and I take back what I said earlier, this is the BEST song on the entire release. Good luck listening to this just the one time, you’ll be back for more the second it finishes.
Ok. With two EPs out now, both fairly similar in style and sound, it’s easy to see what Simple Creatures are trying to do to differentiate themselves from their original bands. They’re exploring new ground, new sounds and attracting a new audience in the process, but luckily for them, the majority of their tunes so far have been great and this new EP is a big step up from their first offering. That’s it, I’m a fan of Simple Creatures now!
Simple Creatures – Everything Opposite EP tracklisting
2. One Little Lie
3. Need Me
4. The Wolf
6. Thanks, I Hate It