When Dallas four-piece Bowling For Soup come to mind, cue thoughts of silly music videos, jokey lyrics and light-hearted pop punk. But take frontman Jaret Reddick from the band and pair him up with Smile Smile singer and guitarist Ryan Hamilton, then you have People On Vacation- an unusual mix of indie and pop-punk that is sure to surprise and bring a dose of sunshine to your speakers.
They are an unlikely pairing, but yet, they work so well together. Upon first listen of their debut EP The Carry On, opening track Better Off Dead is a far cry from the silly lyrics and humorous bounce that you would usually associate with Reddick. With harmonised vocals and guitars layered over an upbeat piano rhythm, the track has a very Britpop vibe to it- a sound that is extended through most of the six-track EP.
Fast forward to the fifth track, She Was The Only One, however, and you will find the inevitable sound of Bowling For Soup stamped all over the track, with Reddick’s distinctive vocals layered over chugging, upbeat guitar chords.
However, despite your preconceptions, The Carry On has a very mature sound with some very deep lyrical themes. Closing track Where Do We Go poses the question “where do we go when we die?”. It’s a mellow, almost relaxing track- a far cry from the songs you would hear at a Bowling For Soup show.
Their vocals surprisingly work so well together throughout the record, with Hamilton’s soft voice complementing Reddick’s famous pop-punk style vocals. They’re styles that shouldn’t work together, but somehow do and the result is pretty impressive.
For such an unlikely pairing, this is a very good effort. Both fans of pop-punk and indie rock will no doubt be united through this record. It’s extremely catchy, but not annoyingly so, and their upbeat sound will undoubtedly be stuck in your head for most of the day. It’s definitely worth a listen, whatever side of the rock fence you sit on.
The duo are due to perform their first ever headline date in the UK at London’s Borderline on March 25th.
Standout Track: Better Off Dead
For fans of: Bowling For Soup, Smile Smile, Spy Catcher
Written by: Ashleigh Wight