California-based pop-punk trio Crooked Teeth have released their second EP this year, however, despite only being released a few months apart, Honey displays quite a change in sound from the band’s previous EP Pastel. On this latest EP, Crooked Teeth have stripped away much of the rawer elements of their blend of pop-punk and emo in favour of a cleaner, pop influenced sound, complete with some spacey, melodic synths that are especially prominent on the opening track ‘Hate Me’. Despite the experiments with a more pop influenced production job, the songs on this EP are still structured like typical pop-punk songs, with melodic vocals soaring over heavy, compressed, distorted guitars.
There are standout moments, like the intro to the title track, which features a deep synth bassline and some delayed dub-style guitars, that explodes into an anthemic chorus. The intros to both ‘Absent’ and ‘You and Me (Whatever)’ are the kind of things you’d expect from a club banger, with the latter of two tracks utilising a rather interesting vocal sample over the guitars. The problem with the heavy use of modern pop sounds on these tracks is that the band runs the risk of these songs potentially sounding dated in a few years when the fickle zeitgeist moves towards a different strand of pop music. The closing track ‘Broken Bones’ also stands out as the fastest song the EP, and the most reminiscent of the band’s earlier work.
Crooked Teeth have crafted a some perfectly competent, radio friendly rock songs that are comparable to the likes of Paramore, or the later albums by Lower Than Atlantis. The issue with a lot of the more experimental elements of this EP is how low they are in the mix, which makes it seem as though the band are struggling to commit to the change in sound that they’ve opted for. Overall, for fans of radio friendly pop-punk, “Honey” is not likely to disappoint you.