Grown Ups - Handholder EP (Cover Artwork)

Grown Ups

Handholder EP (2011)

Doghouse Records

Doghouse Records recently released Grown Ups' third effort, the Handholder EP. Opener "Wigwam" grabs the listener immediately, showcasing Jacob Bonham's drumming and Doyle Martin's lovingly raspy vocals. On first listen, I didn't love "Wigwam". A few listens later, I realized that my first impression was way off. Such is the case with this entire EP, if you have mixed feelings after the first few listens.

Next on the EP is "Wildlife", a fast-paced track that is sure to be a treat live. I can already imagine catching them on tour and shouting along to "And I'll sleep and dream about the last time that I wasn't so tired / Man, everyone moves so fast. "Wildlife" is an incredibly fun song that is almost impossible not to enjoy.
Grown Ups decided to release "Couch King" as the first single off of this EP, as it is easily the catchiest song out of all four tracks. It wouldn't be out of place in the slightest on their full-length More Songs, as it sticks to the formula that they had already perfected. It's just a great song, in every aspect. It's that simple.

Instrumentally, this EP is very reminiscent of their earlier work. The guitar hasn't changed much, although at the 2:00 minute mark in "Wigwam" things sound a tiny bit Western to me. It's not a bad thing though, just a slight interesting change in tune. Literally! Handholder also gives bassist, Kyle Wolak a chance to display his skills during "Wildlife", just after the :30 second mark.

Although this EP isn't immediately as catchy as the rest of Grown Ups' output, give it a few spins and it will certainly become a favorite if you're a fan of the band. It does not sound exactly like More Songs, and that's a good thing. Handholder might be a small step away from their sound originally, but it is surely a step in the right direction. Just as Doyle sings on the EP, he's "not worried 'bout going slow / [he] just can't see [him]self standing still", and Grown Ups certainly are not "standing still" with this release. They're progressing at a rapid pace.