Magnolia Park – Heart Eater (EP Review)

Magnolia Park – Heart Eater
Released: June 10, 2022

Lineup:

Joshua Roberts // lead vocalist
Tristan Torres // guitars
Freddie Criales // guitars
Jared Kay // bass
Joe Horsham // drums
Vincent Ernst // keyboard

Online:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Tiktok

If you’re a regular scroller on TikTok, there’s a 99% chance you would have been exposed to Florida pop punk group Magnolia Park many times. The band are doing what many of us are still trying to figure out to this day and that is, nailing the mysterious algorithm of social media’s biggest platform. They’ve pushed their single ‘10 For 10‘ immersively online, so much so it’s seemingly impossible to get the lines “Another day, another breakdown, My bank account got me stressed out, I’m not okay, my car just broke down, Why can’t shit ever just work out?” out of the forefront of your mind when it comes to pop punk in 2022. Look, and I ain’t mad about it.

Magnolia Park are undeniably one of the genre’s freshest new acts right now, blending the core roots of pop punk with bursts of new wave synergy that’s enough to draw in younger audiences into the world of rockier, arena-sized choruses. Their latest EP, Heart Eater continues to build on the band’s debut full-length release last year, Halloween Mixtape, but does it give us any new insights?

Opening track ‘Feel Something‘ is an infectious pop punk banger that follows up on Magnolia Park’s biggest single aforementioned. A track about desiring to live in the moment and throws me back to Warped Tour days, this is the anthem of summer days gone by. Mayday Parade’s Derek Sanders marks the first of three collaborations and probably the only noticeable one (honestly these guys love a collab; especially within the scene), and the punchy guitars will also remind older fans of early 2000s icons Simple Plan and Sum 41.

Grave Digger‘ injects that new wave hybrid of rock/pop/hip hop into an infectious jam that throws big Hollywood energy (think Good Charlotte’s Greatest Remixes LP). While the chorus boasts a massive hook to reel you in, the rest of the track kinda fizzled out and left me feeling slightly underwhelmed. Maybe it’s the cynical 33-year-old in me that grew up in the early 2000s, but I didn’t really feel this one. The boys did win me back with ‘Serious‘ though. While this track still has bouts of electronic/pop elements woven throughout, ‘Serious‘ is an explosive dose of pop punk that reels in State Champs/Neck Deep vibes and while vocalist Joshua Roberts sings about not taking life too seriously, the rest of the band take their bouncy blend of innovative pop punk to a whole new level without sounding too formulaic.

Last but certainly not least, is final track ‘Tokyo‘. This makes for a slight change of pace with a moody emo pop anthem that packs just enough edge to get you in the mood right to the final note. We love when bands throw in a decent horn section in their music, and this one’s got a cool one added in over the bridge that may just send Magnolia Park over the edge. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger and a little anticlimactic, which ultimately only leaves us with an urge to hear more.

They’ve got a strong social media game, and Heart Eater definitely taps into that element. It’s a colourful mesh of the sounds we’re hearing through social media in 2022. While I’m not going to deny that Magnolia Park have all the elements to become pop punk’s next big thing, this EP does come off a little short. It’d be cool to see them hone in further and develop their sound from ‘Feel Something‘ and ‘Serious‘ and see what else they can nail without bringing in yet another collaboration.

Overall, Heart Eater acts as a teaser for what’s to come. Here’s hoping that’s when we will finally see Magnolia Park in their full potential, and it’s surely going to knock us off our feet.

Magnolia Park – Heart Eater EP tracklisting:

1. Feel Something (featuring Derek Sanders)
2. Grave Digger (featuring Chad Tepper)
3. Serious
4. Tokyo (featuring Bad Suns)

Rating: 7 / 10
Heart Eater is out Friday through Epitaph Records. Pre-order here
Review by Tamara May @citylightstam

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About Tamara May (1031 Articles)
Wall of Sound's Head of Album Reviews. Weekend Content. Pop Punk Enthusiast.