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Mixtapes - Even on the Worst Nights (Cover Artwork)

Mixtapes

Mixtapes: Even on the Worst NightsEven on the Worst Nights (2012)
No Sleep Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

First there was Maps, a 10-song, 18-minute tour-de-force that came seemingly out of nowhere and made punk fans take notice. A split with Direct Hit! came soon after, followed by a few 7-inches, the Bat Out of Hell III mixtape, a few covers for compilations here and there, the Companions EP added to .
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First there was Maps, a 10-song, 18-minute tour-de-force that came seemingly out of nowhere and made punk fans take notice. A split with Direct Hit! came soon after, followed by a few 7-inches, the Bat Out of Hell III mixtape, a few covers for compilations here and there, the Companions EP added to the vinyl release of Maps, the mostly acoustic, digital-only How to Throw a Successful Party EP, and more recently 26 songs of jokey material released for free online. So it feels a bit odd to be saying this at this point, but Even on the Worst Nights is the debut full-length from Cincinnati, Ohio's Mixtapes, and it's a great one.

Even on the Worst Nights offers few surprises for Mixtapes fans, but it finds the band getting better at what they do. The opening one-two punch of "Seven Mile" and "Something Better" recalls past "acoustic intro then full band banger" moments the group has pulled off with the transition of "Sunrise" into "Maps" or "Recently" into "Morning Sex and AM Radio," but the group's abilities have progressed since then, as can be expected with any artist as prolific as Mixtapes, and the new songs trump those previous entries. The "Maybe we'll find a good way / Just don't count on me" refrain contains one of the strongest hooks the group has ever written.

There are other moments that recall past glories on Even on the Worst Nights; the title track sounds a bit like "Hope is for People," and "Golden Sometimes" recalls both "And If We Both Fail?" and "Soups Whatever," but the new tracks are almost always better, due to the band's improved musicianship and songwriting skills. Ryan Rockwell and Maura Weaver have also both improved as vocalists throughout the course of their last two very busy years, their dual vocals coming across clearer and more confident here than ever before. As always, the two get equal playing time on lead vocals, and sing in unison about half the time, as well.

Sure to be one of the most discussed moments on Even on the Worst Nights is the chorus of "I'll Give You a Hint, Yes", where the group croons "You keep listening to that Bon Iver record / I don't get it, but maybe that's the point." That they pronounce it "Bon Iver," and not "Bone-Ee-Vare" demonstrates that they truly do not get it. The group's lyrical attitude is what has endeared many fans to the band, and they've clearly lost none of it.

While Mixtapes are often lumped in with those "easycore" New Found Glory/Madball hybrid bands, the group is a melodic punk rock band plain and simple. While Dan "Soupy" Campbell of the Wonder Years does pop up for a guest vocal spot on closer "Mt. Hope," the cameo from Grath Madden of Steinways/House Boat fame on "Anyways" feels much more appropriate. Namedropping the Ergs! and Superchunk's best album doesn't hurt either.

Mixtapes have given fans exactly the album they expected with Even on the Worst Nights, and that's not a bad thing. Everything you've come to love about Mixtapes is here in spades, with noticeable improvements in almost every department. If you liked the group two years ago when they were giving their music away for free on Death to False Hope Records, you'll like them now, possibly even more.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsMixtapes - MapsAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseRVIVR - LP [12-inch]Bomb the Music Industry! - VacationAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyMasked Intruder - Masked IntruderThe Flatliners - CavalcadeAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
ksupilot (January 4, 2013)

Mt. Hope alone makes this album one of the best of 2012. The rest of the album is amazing too. Topped my list for 2012.

skolarx (September 15, 2012)

I downloaded this just after it came out and didn't really care for it but for some reason I gave it a couple more spins and found myself liking it more and more to the point where it's #2 on my top 10 for the year currently. Saw them live last night and they were a lot of fun too

MN_DrNick (June 28, 2012)

Well if Aaronkc is talking about Wonder Years, he doesn't actually listen to pop punk.

johnnyz77 (June 28, 2012)

really dig this album! Mixtapes are rockin!

mikexdude (June 27, 2012)

Also, the NFG/Madball hybrid is a pretty ignorant thing to say. That breakdown trash is on its way out, and the Wonder Years scene is all melodic punk (albeit mostly just pop) and completely different than easycore--granted they were that at one point, the breakdowns have been out of the equation for a while. This has less to do with defending x band, but more to do with you not knowing what you're talking about.

mikexdude (June 27, 2012)

I like this band and this record, but I don't agree with your implication of the "Wonder Years/Steinways" comment. I actually think the opposite of what makes more sense to you. I always thought I was weird that people hate on bands like the Wonder Years but like Mixtapes.

loveshackbaby (June 27, 2012)

I think he's talking about the last Wonder Years album... I hope I'm wrong though, because it's awful.

MN_DrNick (June 26, 2012)

What is this "Suburbia" that the poster is talking about below me?

aaronrkc (June 26, 2012)

Best pop-punk album since Suburbia.

thisrespirator (June 26, 2012)

Maps will always hold a special place in heart because it was perfect for the time in my life when I first heard it, but this record is great. One of my favorites of the year. I'm so glad that Mixtapes are getting the recognition they deserve. The sweetest people ever.

angryderek (June 26, 2012)

the heaviest band in music today....and i ain't talkin' bout the riffs!!

bastard_squad (June 26, 2012)

Superchunk's best album?
Tour-de-force?

You need an Epi-Pen, those hyperbole pills you ate are fucking up your brain.

Tye (June 26, 2012)

Russian House DJ = Weezer

ianissuperrad (June 26, 2012)

Mixtapes are a band.

patod (June 26, 2012)

Fantastic record. Mixtapes is about to blow up, and I'm glad to have been here for this.

danperrone (June 26, 2012)

i enjoy this band but sixteen songs is too much for a group that mixes it up so little. the middle third of this album is a drag. still, there are definitely highlights, like "basement manners", "one for the ozarks", and "mt. hope".

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (June 26, 2012)

band sucks............................

loveshackbaby (June 26, 2012)

"the Bat Out of Hell III mixtape" Huh? Did I miss something?

eazyd2 (June 26, 2012)

what the fuck is bon inver and what is so cool about this band singing about it?

good review poserofchillitown

MN_DrNick (June 26, 2012)

Here's Where The Strings Come In? Debatable. Don't fucking say "No" otherwise.

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