Mixtapes- A Short Collection of Short Songs

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ohio’s Mixtapes sure was an active band last year. In addition to putting out a split with Wisconsin based Direct Hit! the group also released a full length and two EP’s. The newest EP is entitled A Short Collection of Short Songs and this seems like a very appropriate title considering that the handful of songs are over before you even know it. Stylistically Mixtapes combines elements of power pop and pop punk with some indie rock touches, and while it may be a little too sweet sounding for some people if you’re into this style it has quite a bit of charm.

Based on their name you might expect that this band has a fairly diverse sound, and you’d be right. On some songs they sound like a pop punk or power pop band that has been ripped right out of the 90’s, while on other tracks they have a bit more of an indie pop vibe that is driven by acoustic guitar work. Mixtapes seems to straddle the line between upbeat, high energy songs and slower, introspective ones fairly often and this gives them a sound that I think many people will be able to identify with. All of the styles I just mentioned have been seeing a lot of new entries in recently but it has been fairly rare to find a band that attempts to utilize all of them on one release and this is what helps this particular act to stand out. It would be interesting to see if the band could ever mesh the acoustic, slower moments and faster pop punk riffs into one song rather than separating them, as this seems like something that they could accomplish fairly easily.

The joint vocals of Ryan Rockwell and Maura Weaver will determine if listeners can get into A Short Collection of Short Songs or not. This doesn’t mean that they are bad by any means, but they are super sweet and cheerful sounding at times which I realize can be a bit of an acquired taste. But if you’re a stinker for this style (particularly when it leans towards the indie pop side of things) there’s a good chance that you’ll really enjoy Rockwell and Weaver’s duets as they are complement each other and add a lot to the EP.

Mixtapes has managed to mix a lot of styles together, and as they are all ones that mesh well together the band’s overall sound is quite likeable. This is the first that I’ve heard from this group, but based on the charm that this EP has it may be time to investigate the other releases that they put out last year. It may be as short as you’d expect from the title, but I guarantee if you’re into this genre and can appreciate sugary sweet vocals you’ll return often.


Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Beartrap PR

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