Album Review :
Same As Sunday - Earn Your Stripes EP

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Band: Same As Sunday
Album: Earn Your Stripes
Label: unsigned
Release Date: October 2010
Reviewer: BMer

Track List:
1. Roads? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads
2. Swing Low
3. Exits and Entrances
4. No If’s, And’s, Or Breakdowns
5. The Opposite of Two
6. Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires
7. Earn Your Stripes

Unsigned Same As Sunday have released yet another EP, this one titled Earn Your Stripes. It has been two years since Alternative Press called Same As Sunday “Unsigned Band of the Month” and in those two years the band has released two EP’s including last summer’s The Dollar for Dollar EP. This might be the last we hear of Same As Sunday for a while as lead singer Chris Bauchle is being deployed with the US Air Force this fall.

Earn Your Stripes is full of the light-hearted pop-punk that the band is known for, lyrics that on the surface seem sophomoric but hold much more value underneath. The EP starts off on a high-note with “Roads”, the fun and energetic guitar-work is really what makes the good songs really standout. The first few tracks of Earn Your Stripes are energetic and memorable. “Swing Low” has a super-catchy chorus that shows the influence of bands like New Found Glory, added with the breakdowns and gang vocals you can also hear influences from Four Year Strong or Polar Bear Club. Sometimes the mix of pop-punk and hardcore works well, like on “Roads” and “Exits and Entrances” but other times it’s not effective at all like with the closer, “Earn Your Stripes”.

After you get through the first few tracks you come across the very subdued “The Opposite of Two”, a standard breakup song. The song, while I’m sure has good intentions, is just boring and kills the momentum of the EP. The closing track “Earn Your Stripes” has a great meaning about placing your confidence in God, but it’s tough to hear that meaning in the actual lyrics which are filled with typical clichés like “Give it all you’ve got, you’ve got one shot” and “lock and load, it’s time to shine, do or die, you can’t fail, unless you don’t try”. The song seems somewhat forced and just lacks any real creativity, the band just doesn’t sound at all like the band on the first few tracks with upbeat melodies and meandering guitar lines.

OVERALL Same As Sunday continue to deliver well produced pop-punk, the quality of Earn Your Stripes is solid from an unsigned band. The good songs are fun and catchy, energetic and easy to enjoy, songs that will be a lot of fun live. If you’re into fun music was a little edge you should give Earn Your Stripes a chance!

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