Hot Mulligan - Pilot (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Hot Mulligan

Pilot (2018)

no sleep records

I love how No Sleep Records continues to unearth gems which I don't think I'd otherwise come across. Hot Mulligan just so happens to be another, and if you're looking for one of the next big things in pop-punk then take note. The only thing I feel bad about is that Warped Tour's coming to an end because this is a band I could have seen really making a name there for themselves.

Now Hot Mulligan unsurprisingly gets lumped in with bands like Boston Manor, Neck Deep and Knuckle Puck but as Pilot shows, they have a more refined sound that really makes a grander stand. It's a solid evolution from their EPs and more so, Pilot feels like a band that knows where it wants to be and has no problem grinding to get there. Cheeky pop-punk songs like "All I Wanted by Michelle Branch" are their motif and I could see why. Quite a few songs come off like this, clearly showing the influence of acts like Taking Back Sunday and label alumni, The Wonder Years.

Then you've got a more expanded and dynamic sound in "I Hate The Gooey Disk" -- with some math-riffs a la Tiny Moving Parts and well, American Football. But if I had to put a pin in what Hot Mulligan sounds like most, it'd be Cork Tree-era Fall Out Boy. "Deluxe Capacitor" and "Good Ol' Mr. Rags" are prime examples of this, as if to reiterate that some bands remember when Hot Topic pop-punk was done right, and that it can actually be revived once more. Once Hot Mulligan starts cutting loose a bit more and even adding a bit more aggression to their sound, guided by the ever-impressive clean vocals of Tades Sanville, I think we'll definitely see a band ready to blow up like FOB and NFG did back in the day.