EP REVIEW: Best Ex – Ice Cream Anti-Social

Alcopop! Records signing Best Ex to many are better known for their former guise Candy Hearts, their loved pop-punk sound drew many fans in but with their new name has brought a new sound showcased on Ice Cream Anti-Social.

From the start, Girlfriend shows that there are a new pop direction and sound which has been implemented by Best Ex. It’s pretty underwhelming musically, you can just feel that there’s more of a kick lying deep within their music skills which aren’t shown by the lack lustring melody. Okay, we’ll admit lyrics like “Kiss me like you don’t want it to end ‘cause I don’t really care about your girlfriend” get stuck in your head but it’s a bit sickly sweet to listen to. We’ll admit we really didn’t expect such a teen pop with electro edge sound to be created and Mariel Loveland’s vocals feel wasted on it as they just wash over you into the distance. With a name like Lonely Life, we’re expecting more love orientated lyrics which in a way is what we get as she proclaims “my cat is my best friend” crazy cat lady anyone? It’s fun we’ll admit as they discuss those issues we face with technology including the slow laptops and cracked phone screens we never escape. But it doesn’t capture our attention to make this anything near a standout or memorable track and we’re left hoping the remaining four tracks change this.

February 4th seems to bring the changing point in the release, less of the electro synths and more of the delicate, heartfelt affair which ever EP needs. Loveland’s vocals hold such emotion when singing of the issues you find within a relationship and try to gloss over. This ballad emphasises the guitar lines to keep our attention completely on the sincere lyrics. Someday keeps the quirky tracks we’ve been wanting to see and becomes a release favourite, it’s indie pop with a dose of sass thrown in and the cheeky laugh at the beginning makes this feel more personal rather than pushed out pop. See You Again maintains this theme but with a little more of a sugar sweet twist. Storytelling vocals make you visualise the experiences which Loveland reminisces on including the Salt Lake sky behind that special person. Upbeat guitars help to set an American style romantic movie about whether you’ll be remembered and ever see that person you briefly spent time with again. It’s cute but in a way that it becomes memorable and brings back some of the punk Candy Hearts were known for.

Jellyfish closes the release bringing in a ukulele and a very familiar introduction which we can’t quite place. It’s refreshing to hear them trying something a little different and it flows with ease. We’re still torn over this release, it’s sugar sweet pop but lyrically there’s a lot of promise as their story telling technique makes it memorable and visual. It’s just a shame overall there’s nothing stand out about this EP and this dramatic genre change maybe wasn’t for the best.


Standout Tracks: See You Again, February 4th

For Fans Of: The Ting Tings, Paramore, Passion Pit, Tegan and Sara

Written By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar