I always forget that I actually quite enjoy pop punk. It might be because its current incarnation does nothing for me but throw a bunch of mid-00s bands my way and I’ll happily listen. However, there seems to be a small vestige of bands trying to channel that time period which is where A Few Too Many appear to have found a great niche.
Solid Ground is pop punk as fuck. Full of short, punchy songs, it’s an EP wearing its heart on its sleeve, showing vulnerability alongside humour. Opening track “Stay the Night” with its snarling riff and drums is as classic as it gets. Meanwhile, closing song “Solid Ground” is your typical song about finding better days after misfortune with hints of prime Bowling For Soup.
There’s not a moment where the band properly drop the tempo, keeping things as fast-paced and intense throughout but they make sure the lyrics are kept as emotionally real as possible. However, it’s “Ultimate Glory” and “Stuck on Repeat” where they really tap into the sound you’d expect from the start of the millennium.
Elsewhere, “The Pity Parade” is an ode to mid-90s Green Day (when Green Day made good albums) with its crunchy riffs and garage-feel production. Whilst there’s a couple of mis-steps when it comes to the production on the EP and elements aren’t quite in the mix as well as they should be, namely backing vocals (it is punk after all), from a performance standpoint, it’s as slick and polished as you’d expect from a band who are following up their last album.
Solid Ground is an EP which doesn’t outstay its welcome. A Few Too Many are a band reminding you how great pop punk can be. Despite its shaky moments on the production front, it’ll have you singing along, nostalgic for a bygone era.
Solid Ground is out now