Quite simply one of the hardest working bands in contemporary punk and hardcore, Vanilla Poppers are back with their most urgent material to date. Following an excellent 2017 LP on Lumpy, 3/4 of the original lineup relocated from Cleveland to Melbourne, Australia, home of vocalist Christina Pap. The four new tracks on "I Like Your Band" find the Poppers on top of their game, driving home hook-laden punk hits beneath Pap's ruling vocal presence. And what's more? The band's gritty, live charm is captured at its best here by Billy Gardner (Ausmuteants, Antifade Records) and dialed in on the mix by Mike Gill (Perverts Again, Cruelster). A near-perfect EP delivered with the precision and attitude of first wave 70s PUNK and executed with the style and confidence that few contemporary acts possess. "I Like Your Band" comes packaged in a glue pocket sleeve with artwork from William Chapman plus lyric insert and download code.
Our take: Latest 7” from this band that started in Cleveland, but has since moved to Melbourne, Australia (you don’t hear that every day!). I liked the band’s last 12” on Lumpy, but their sound clicks much better on these four new tracks. It’s hard to identify what works so much better here. Like before, the guitarist has a Detroit / Radio Birdman-type riffing style, and while the tempos are still hardcore fast, the production is clearer and the band plays with more swing and swagger. Instead of buzzing on cheap speed, it sounds like Vanilla Poppers are whiskey drunk, cocky, and looking for a fight. With their great, classic-sounding punk riffs and nihilistic hardcore attitude, Vanilla Poppers sound like the rare band who might go over just as well at Goner Fest as Everything Is Not OK.