EP Review: Brigades – True Blue

South Caroline pop-punk/post-hardcore outfit Brigades’ fifth EP is out now. 

Pop-punk is currently seeing its biggest rise since the early noughties, waves of new bands emerge on both sides of the Atlantic on both ends of the pop spectrum. Brigades have been around for quite a while but have now released their first new music since 2015’s Indefinite. 

Self-released, True Blue presents a dynamic collection of six upbeat tunes, showcasing the band’s progression and maturity, both in writing and delivery. A tight-knit collection of addictive pop-punk melodies are blended with the intensity of post-hardcore rawness.

Vocalist Darren Young says, “True Blue definitely stands out from our other records because I feel it’s something new and refreshing compared to how depressing and dark things got on Indefinite. I think in some parts of True Blue it shovels back to the roots between my writing for The Last Laugh and Crocodile Tears, then is mushed together with this new aesthetic that was created from everything that happened. Making this transformation now is more exciting than it would have been for a direct release right after Indefinite.”

Kicking off True Blue is Turmoil which perfectly sets the tone for the record. A blend of melodic pop-punk with elements of harsher post-hardcore remind of the likes of The Story So Far.

Across the board, the EP is packed with tight and heavy melodies, deep lyrics and more than enough opportunities for sing-alongs. Buffy carries this recipe as much as following track China Doll, even though both are melodically very different. Latest single China Doll is quite possibly the catchiest track on the EP with a chorus that won’t leave your head for days.

The catchiness doesn’t end there though. Sucker has a hella memorable pop-punk chorus and the drums in Calligraphy will get you moving whether you want to or not. When you finally get to Finish Your Chardonnay, you’ll see a slightly different side of Brigades. This ride-or-die feel created by the slightly slowed down pace in vocals but still backed by the signature urgent drums make you want to turn up the volume button and shout along.

Are Brigades breaking the mould with this EP? Probably not. Do they deliver a release filled with hook-laden pop-punk tracks you’ll want to listen to on repeat? One. Hundred. Percent.