The Hangups - The Hangups [EP] (Cover Artwork)

The Hangups

The Hangups [EP] (2018)

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Formed in 2015 in Malmo, Sweden, The Hangups quickly released this self-titled digital EP about a year later. The band later released it on a 7-inch in February of 2018. Inspired by The Ramones and many bands in the Lookout! catalog, this 3-piece put out four solid songs that show maturity despite being in their infancy as a band.

The first song on the 7-inch is the aptly titled “Addicted”, which opens with a Screeching Weasel type guitar riff. And once the vocals start, you know this is going to be a tough song to get out of your head, especially the chorus with lyrics like “...we’re still addicted to the sound.” The harmonies during the chorus, accompanied by an awesome bass line and speedy double snare hits, make this a song that will be spun over and over.

The next song definitely has more of a Ramones feel to it. Even the title, “I don’t wanna be with you”, could have been plucked right out of the three-chord punk pioneers’ catalog. This track is just as catchy as the first and clocks in under two minutes, which makes it another song that will be played on repeat. To me, that’s part of the beauty of punk. Keep it short. Keep it simple. And make it awesome. All of which is evident in this song.

The flip side starts with “Alone” another Weasel/Queers/Riverdales influenced track that starts with the banging of the toms and jumps into a lead guitar riff before heading into the verse smothered with harmonies that are reminiscent of Lookout! era Green Day. With loads of “oh yeahs” and “whoah-oh-ohs”, it is a song that sounds happy, but a closer listen reveals a man scarred by love.

When I first saw that the band was from Sweden, my immediate reaction was to compare them to their fellow countrymen Randy (the band), which is probably pretty ignorant of me. I tried to stay away from that comparison on the first three tracks, though I heard a few similarities. But by the last song, I couldn’t avoid it anymore. “It is you” is a song that would fit perfectly on Randy’s Cheater or Welfare Problems. It is short, sweet, and loud. And it’s a good way to end the record.

This a 7-inch that will not get lost in your collection. All four tracks are great and it is very difficult to listen to this record without immediately flipping it over and listening to the whole thing again. And with another EP in the works and no signs of slowing down, you can expect to hear from The Hangups a lot more in the future.