Having never listened to or even heard of Disco Curtis before, I was immediately intrigued solely by the band name. I was a little disappointed to find that their pop-punk sound is not as original as their name, but still am quite impressed with their sound.
Play With Fire Get Burned is your typical pop-punk EP – full of energy, hooky, and something you can jam to. The first track, “Ashley,” is markedly catchy with expected melodies that have slight variations. I’m a sucker for a good breakdown and hi-hat sound in the drums, and this song makes use of both. This song has all the elements that make pop-punk endearing (and almost addictive) to listeners of the genre. Compared to a lot of similar bands that are popular right now, Disco Curtis is definitely one of the better.
The album begins and ends with its two best tracks – the last track, “Breaking Hearts,” is another super catchy song full of pop-punk elements that avid listeners won’t be able to get enough of. Vocalist Tanner Howe sounds his best in the verses of this track – for once a pop-punk singer is able to sing without straining his voice! The guitar solo shows that guitarist Garrett Perales is technically a great guitar player, but the guitar solo doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the song musically.
However, the tracks in between the first and last are a little more mediocre. “Hard Times and Pick Up Lines” loses the great hooks that are present in their other songs, and while it’s nothing too outstanding musically or lyrically, it’s still better than a lot of other music out right now and isn’t too sugarcoated. “Surprise Me” has a strong We The Kings vibe and “Alone and Loving It” is tremendously cliché. “The Things I Would Tell Her” loses the complexity present in the other songs and almost sounds like “1985” by Bowling For Soup, although the breakdown, fun beat, and gang vocals make up for it in this one. These few songs aren’t terrible, but I can tell by the other material on the EP that the band has the ability to be much better.
Overall, Disco Curtis has put out a solid EP and have proven themselves to be a step above the average pop-punk band. Catch them on tour with Rookie of the Year and Eye Alaska all this month and on select dates of the Vans Warped Tour this summer.
Release Date: September 26, 2009
Label: Interscope/Myspace Records
Recommended Tracks: “Ashley” / “Breaking Hearts”
For Fans Of: We the Kings, The Bigger Lights, Jet Lag Gemini