Mixtapes - Castle Songs (Cover Artwork)


Castle Songs (2011)

Death to False Hope

Short and sweet. That's the best way to describe Castle Songs, the latest release from Cincinnati, Ohio, band Mixtapes.

The EP starts off with "I'm a Genius", an upbeat cover of the Zeke and Luther theme, a children's show on the Disney Channel. The song, which narrowly crosses the 30-second mark, finds the band incorporating ska into their sound for the first time and to great effect. It may sound like a novelty, but the song is so damn catchy that it makes me want to hear what they could do with other children's show themes, such as The Adventures of Pete & Pete's "Hey Sandy" or the Adventure Time opening.

"Hey Baby", the second and final track on Castle Songs, could very well be a contender for best break-up song of all-time, or at least the most amusing. The tongue-in-cheek acoustic number finds co-vocalist Ryan Rockwell taking on the role of the embittered ex, spending time at home while the song's antagonist is "out at the bar getting drunk and hammered." Within the song, a night of Netflix results in a humorous pouring out of the heart on the topics of Tim Burton and Strung Out (he doesn't like either), as well as the ex's meager chances of making it in art school. Mixtapes' other vocalist, Maura Weaver, can be heard providing pleasant harmonies and even those who disagree with Rockwell's lyrics will find it impossible to keep from singing along with them.

The band makes the most out of the less-than-two-minute run time here. Both tracks are catchy and funny, plus they're a blast to sing along to. They are definitely a worthy addition to the band's already impressive and rapidly growing catalogue.