The Hangups - No Expectations (Cover Artwork)

The Hangups

No Expectations (2019)

Monster Zero Records

With No Expectations, The Hangups have released another solid 4-song EP that highlights their love of the Ramones and other similarly influenced ‘90s era Lookout! bands. All four songs are upbeat, melody-driven, and passionate.

The first side starts right where the band left off on their self-titled 7-inch. “Stupid World” comes out of the gates with a fury, courtesy of an upbeat rhythm and a repeating lead riff. Though the song portrays a somewhat pessimistic view of life (in a good way), it is light hearted, catchy, and provides a bit of hope. The second song on the A-side, “Out of Order”, maintains a similar tone, yet the song structure is completely different. As a result, the songs are cohesive, but not repetitive. I love the instantaneous rapidity of the vocals on the verse, where the words are compounded by the machine gun pounding of the drums. And I was surprised when the vocals went lower during the chorus, which repeats often, but it works perfectly. And with a nod to the Ramones, the 2nd verse is the same as the first.

The end of the first side also provides a little foreshadowing with call and response background vocals from the bass player who sings lead on the next track on the flip side. Consequently, “Done With You” has a slightly different sound. It still sounds like a Hangups song because of the instrumentation, but the song structure and vocal delivery provides a nice little change up. The record closes out with the super catchy “Bigger Brain”, a tune about falling in love with a girl that’s smarter and quicker. The chorus is sure to get stuck in your head, partially because of the buildup of the verse and pre-chorus, both of which cause a sense of urgency.

Everytime I listened to this record, I tried to pick a favorite song. And everytime I listened, I had a different answer. I absolutely love every aspect of this EP: the tone of the guitars and bass is awesome, the sound and style of the drums is amazing, and I love how the vocals are backed by high harmonies. Overall, this is a record that I will likely never get bored of listening to.