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Hot Mulligan - 'Opportunities' EP Review

Track List:

1. If You Had Spun Out In Your Oldsmobile, This Probably Wouldn't Of Happened

2. The Hammer Guy Is At It Again

3. Wait For It

4. Dary

5. Something About A Bunch Of Dead Dogs

6. I Replied To Tyler With Three Blue Cars

7. Deluxe Capacitor (Acoustic)

When I first opted into this gig I advised about the kind of genres I am a fan of and never really expected who I might end up listening to.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised when the light poppy sounds of Michigan’s Hot Mulligan came through my speakers.

Right from the get go the First track “If You Had Spun Out In Your Oldsmobile, This Probably Wouldn't Have Happened” (pretty wordy I know so to ensure we all get home on time tonight I’ll try to be brief) comes in with a harmonised dual vocal that sets the tone of the entire album and so it should, the vocal ability of these guys is laudable and deserves a good flaunt. The final line in this first track however builds up into a scream, now I’m not one to shy away from a good screamy track but I feel in this particular instance it felt a little tacked on.

Moving on to “The Hammer Guy Is At It again” this time we’re brought into the track with the full band. I found this track really fun to listen to, with it’s upbeat sound and synth which to me felt just the right amount, not too much to overbear everything else but just enough that leaves me nodding my head in appreciation, the band continues to utilise this really well throughout the album.

After the more upbeat sound that Hot Mulligan have shown they are more than capable of, “Wait For It” brings the tone down somewhat by leading us in with a single vocal and guitar accompaniment.

I’m personally not a huge fan of this side of the genre but I’m not too proud to admit I found myself enjoying this song quite a lot, particularly when the rest of the band kicks in around the 2 and a half minute mark to really drive this track home.

After we’re all left in a deep feeling of contemplation “Dary” swoops in picking the tempo right back up again while still holding the emo subject matter that at this point I’ve become accustomed to.

I felt like this was a great interlude track in the middle of the album and in my opinion it’s where things really start to pop, the music is punchy but all three vocal styles really shine, this one was close to being my favourite track on the album and felt very Brand New (the band, not quality) in style.

But in the end “Something About A Bunch of Dead Dogs” took the trophy for my favourite track. The drum intro is a nice segway into a heartfelt song where the more gruff, shouting vocal style comes into it’s own. I’ll admit maybe I’m a bit biased to that style of vocal more, but when it works, it works and I loved it in this track the most. Now this is actually the shortest track on the album but I think ultimately that served to help it for me, sometimes I want a journey so I’ll listen to some Prog or something, and sometimes I just want a punchy track to kick me in the feels and this one does that in great measure.

The penultimate track “I Replied To Tyler With Three Blue Cars” brings the tempo back down slightly again as we get close to wrapping things up on the album with a strong vocal lead, but that doesn’t stop the song busting in during the chorus and allowing the shouted vocals to really shine through again making it another favoured track for myself but like I said I’m a little biased.

Now to me Acoustic tracks are always a bit of a gamble, sometimes I love them and sometimes I’ll find myself skipping them. So far on the many playthroughs of this album I’ve not once skipped “Deluxe Capacitor”. The Harmonised dual vocals really kept me enticed throughout, not to mention it is just a real nice song to listen to. For the most part this track plays on one of the bigger strengths this band exhibits and that is the vocal abilities.

All in all I think Hot Mulligan do what they do well, the music for the most part is standard Pop Punk fayre. But when you add the icing on the cake which to me was the nicely harmonised vocals that felt reminiscent of Four Year Strong, and synth which really gave the sound that little boost and at times reminded me of HelloGoodBye. You’re left with an album which would be perfect for cracking on while you’re drinking a beer, or if you’re still grieving that bad break up you just can’t seem to get over, which to me speaks volumes about their versatility.

Review - Ric Snell

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