Naming a song after one of Homer Simpson’s better quotes is a sure fire way to endear you to potential listeners. It also helps that “Marge, It Takes Two To Lie; One to Lie and One To Listen” is also the best song on Kickstart The Season’s new EP ‘Paths’. This sort of pop culture reference is atypical of the pop punk genre that Kickstart The Season exist in.
From the opening polished guitar riffs to Ciara Walker’s saccharine sweet vocals, it displays all the pristine, well-mannered traits you’d expect to find in your average pop punk tune. It’s a perfectly acceptable stab at the sort of radio-friendly glossy guitar rock that inhibits day time radio. Cross Paramore with Fall Out Boy and you are in the right zone of what to expect.
A lot of the songs on the EP desperately want to be liked. They are like doey-eyed Labrador puppies wanting to be picked up and patted. But some of these songs wouldn’t find a home and could be put down. Deaf Ears is a short swift ditty that’s full of faux energy, absent of any sort of musical or vocal intensity and any memorable pop hooks. BestDamnThing! is sugar coated and polished to the point of removing anything remotely catchy.
Some of these perky songs do rub off on you. Title track Paths works best when Walker and Sean Hudson dovetail their vocals together and they repeat this trick on Liability to good effect. These kind of vocal melodies symbolise what Kickstart The Season do best. What lets them down is some cookie cutter guitar riffs which lack originality.
There’s no denying there is a market for the brand of pop punk Kickstart The Season are peddling, but they need a more distinguishing factor to separate themselves from the legions of bands producing this type of rock.