Varsity Weirdos - Close the Blinds [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)

Varsity Weirdos

Close the Blinds [7-inch] (2015)

It's Alive Records

New Brunswick's Varsity Weirdos are a band that operates in fits and starts, popping up every couple of years or so to throw a short collection of catchy pop punk at those willing to listen. I have a feeling their rare appearances would be more celebrated if the catchy, Ramones-influenced punk scene wasn't so woefully overcrowded.  They're a band who (surprise!) stick to a fairly simple formula and trim the fat where they can. Listeners can enjoy the four songs they get, nod their head, and proceed to go about their day from there, maybe humming one of the melodies before it drifts away to the back recesses of their brain.

The band not only carefully follow in the footsteps of The Ramones, they raid their record collection as well, dropping classic backing vocal "oohs" when applicable. Though the formula the band works with is pretty well established, they manage to make a misstep on the overlong "This World," which meanders and sputters to a close. Other tracks (especially standout "No Life on Planet Mars") remedy this quickly, offering a quick shot of catchy punk sweetness.

No one is going to pretend that this EP is trying to reach new heights for pop punk. At times, Varsity Weirdos sound like genre peers Pink Razors as well as newer bands like Weekend Dads. The band is strictly no nonsense, choosing to avoid over cluttering their influences at the expense of distinguishing themselves. 

You can listen to the 7-inch here.