Same As Sunday - Earn Your Stripes EP Release Date: October 26, 2010
Record Label: Unsigned
Most of my life has become engulfed in journalism stuff. As I was watching the man, the myth, the legend Bob Costas report on the Dallas Cowboys' win on Sunday night, I found myself analyzing and reviewing his report. The man is basically a genius. But my point is that I always seem to find myself micro-reviewing things in my mind. The first time I heard Same As Sunday, before I decided I was going to review its Earn Your Stripes EP, it took me approximately 15 seconds to make my first evaluation.
That first evaluation that I made, as I often do with new bands, was a sort of RIYL-like one. And after listening to opener "Roads? Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads.", I thought that Same As Sunday was the exact midpoint between Four Year Strong and Man Overboard. The opener starts with gang vocals and a happy-sounding breakdown that isn't as heavy as FYS stuff but still has that feel to it, and when vocalist/guitarist Chris Bauchle comes in with his high-pitched, all-too-perfect-for-pop-punk vocals, the MOB similarities begin. Drummer Andy "the" Heck keeps things going at a high pace with his relentless drumming.
The Earn Your Stripes EP is a definitively fun release. All of the songs are fast-paced, they all have high-flying choruses, and Same As Sunday knows how to mix in climb-on-your-friend's-shoulders-worthy breakdowns without coming off as gimmicky. "Swing Low" shows off the guitar work of Bauchle and Kyle Martin while Bauchle keeps the song accessible with strong vocals in the chorus.
If Same As Sunday sounds like a band that isn't really making serious music, that's probably a fair assessment. I mean, the band is serious in the sense that they have made a worthwhile pop punk EP, but their music is fun-loving. In "No If's, And's, Or Breakdowns", Bauchle sings, "Let me begin with 'Maybe I spoke too soon' / I'll apologize in perfect autotune." And, you guessed it, they add autotune into the last line. Maybe I'm easily amused (which I am) but that made me laugh and it's something like this that adds to the stage-dive-all-day-all-night fun of this release.
In an effort to make more long phrases held together by dashes, I'll describe the last two songs on the EP. The Falcon-Punch-meets-Kirby-brick-move-sized combo of "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" and "Earn Your Stripes" rounds out the EP with twin uptempo, breakdown-oriented tracks. The track that gives the EP its name is the better of the two, and as Bauchle belts out "You've gotta earn your stripes" over yet another quality guitar riff, you can't help but see the potential that this band is bursting with.
I'll admit that I never really get tired of this genre. When I'm not listening to anything, I just put on pop punk. I'm sure that makes me a lot of things in your mind. For example, it makes me an idiot in my dad's mind, as he finds most of the "happy hardcore" music that I like to be a bit lacking in substance. And maybe this oversaturation of the genre has slightly diluted my ability to find true burgeoning potential in a band, but I don't think so. Out of the pop punk EPs I've reviewed this year, I think only I Call Fives and Bright & Early have impressed me as much as Same As Sunday. And if their DIY, working mentality is as strong as this EP title makes me believe it is, then I'm more than willing to place a couple of bets on Same As Sunday.