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Cliffhanger – Cliffhanger (EP Review)

Cliffhanger – Cliffhanger
Released: 10th January 2020

Line-up:

Matt Meindl // vocals
Dan Rickert // guitar
Mike Centracco // guitar
Lou Pontillo // bass
Mike Licari // drums

Online:

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US pop punk five-piece Cliffhanger came across my radar towards the end of last year when their catchy, nostalgic pop punk antics reached my peripherals. The band hail from Chicago, which seems to be a gold mine for great bands such as Sleep On It, Belmont and even the legendary Fall Out Boy, so this young act are well worth paying attention to.

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Cliffhanger’s self-titled EP begins with ‘The Oaks’ and straight away the band have caught our attention with their high-energy, melodic punk sound. This track also spreads a message of defiance and positivity, amongst its poppish undertones. The fast paced energy continues with ‘Diane’, throwing back strong vibes to early Blink-182 and is a favourite for anyone obsessed with that early 2000s musical era. 

My personal standout track of this EP is ‘After Sunrise’, which is your straight up pop punk anthem about longing for summer nights with your friends. Easily the catchiest chorus I’ve heard in awhile, this song will quickly slide into your favourite playlist. While ‘Hollowed Out’ is one for the moshpit about convincing yourself that you’re not burnt out, ‘Ivy Wall’ gave me more eerie Take Off Your Pants and Jacket vibes. It’s the high-energy and fast guitars that did it for me here. 

Cliffhanger take no time out to slow down, and ‘Shakedown’ is proof of that with its dancefloor tendencies. From the first riff, this song is a siren call for anyone and everyone to get on their feet. While the EP closes out nicely with the line “One more drink before it’s closing time…” with ‘Forever Ago’, I would love to see the guys swap this out for an acoustic version one day.  But seeing the band pumping out just enough energy for a strong finish works just as well too. 

Overcharged pop punk riffs and fast melodies will suck you right into the  Cliffhanger brand. Lyrically, these guys take you back to nostalgic times when you just couldn’t get enough of Blink-182. Overall, each song is as enjoyable as the next one and this is my favourite pop punk release of the year…so far, which sets the bar high for the genre in 2020. Cliffhanger are the new kids on the block worth keeping tabs on as they continue to build momentum and gain popularity with their fast-paced tunes. 

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Cliffhanger – Cliffhanger tracklisting:

  1. The Oaks
  2. Diane
  3. After Sunrise
  4. Hollowed Out
  5. Ivy Wall
  6. Shakedown
  7. Forever Ago

Rating: 9/10
Cliffhanger’s self-titled EP is available now. Support the band here.
Review by Tamara May (@citylightsTAM)

 

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