Enter Simple Creatures. Hello Drug.
At the end of the California album cycle, Mark Hoppus found himself in a self-proclaimed funk. Struggling to come to terms with the fact he didn’t have a creative project on the horizon, Hoppus turned his head to the studio, bringing with him some friends that he had met along the way and promised he would one day make music with. Namely, Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low. Although this project was meant to be more of a drop-in, bring-a-pal, creative journey, Gaskarth fit the mould so well that Simple Creatures was born there and then. The result is a brand-spankin’ band who aim to release two EPs in 2019. The first is EP1: Strange Love and is due in March. Drug is the first official release from it.
I was very keen to see just how revolutionary Drug would sound as it features two musicians who have very easily identifiable sounds and styles. The verdict, for me, is still undecided. Naturally, there is something warming about hearing a song that features Mark Hoppus opening with a “na” or two. The guitar that throbs under Hoppus’ vocals in the opening verse gives it a purpose. The chorus sees Alex Gaskarth swagger to the forefront, crooning his way through the hook atop of a series of textbook Hoppus “na-na”s. Gaskarth’s voice is impressive, as expected, in the chorus and the breakdown of the song, however, I feel as though the lyrics are a little generic and disconnected. In fact, I would also pin this on Hoppus’ contributions as well. In spite of this, the hook of the chorus may not be linguistically stimulating but it is catchy. The breakdown feels a little distanced from the rest of the song, probably because of the use of the electronic. I like it and it feels, for the first time in the song, to offer something different to what we are used to.
Drug holds at its heart the beginning of an exciting concept; though I am not entirely sold on its application just yet. Maybe it is because I have been an enormous blink-182 fan for a series of years and hold All Time Low’s early material close to my heart that I expected a little more from this. I understand that Simple Creatures will try and distance themselves from comparisons to their other band’s, but if they write a song like this that sounds like a fusion of the two’s latest albums then what can they really expect? Yet, EP1 could definitely prove me wrong, and for that I am excited. I just wanted a little something to turn my head.
2.5/5 Bytes. Callum Huthwaite.
Feature image from Rocksound.