Pop Icons - Prelude [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Pop Icons

Prelude [EP] (2020)


If I had a dollar for every release I wanted to review this year, I would need a new wallet! This year has been a never-ending roller coaster of amazing release across all genres covered here for this site. Therefore, my list of bands and albums on my radar for review is constantly growing. Every now and then though, there comes a surprise release by a newer band previously unknown to me that grabs my attention unlike others. Pop Icons are a new trio from Phoenix, Arizona who recently self-released a solid debut five song EP. This release quickly rose to the top of my list for review following multiple repeat listens. This band may hail from Arizona, but pay homage to both the East Bay and Midwest.

“Prelude To A Broken Heart” kicks off this energetic EP with style. The Midwest buzzsaw guitar sound made famous by Naked Raygun is present throughout this track. What should also be noted is the power of the drums, especially the snare, heard on the EP. Vocally, the band borrows heavy from early Easy Bay bands such as Crimpshrine. This track boasts catchy and solid backing vocals. This vocal approach and style is akin to the post 2000 Midwest sound heard from bands such as the Copyrights and Off With Their Heads. On “Cold Blood” guitarist and vocalist Rob showcases his vocal range. Solid riffage carries this tune in the verses. Witty lyrics and vocal style reminiscent of New Jersey’s The Ergs can be heard as well. The consistent tempo of this release continues with “Rooftops.” This track showcases the talents of bassist Nate, especially in the bridge. The modern pop punk sound is strong on “This Time Last Year.” There are enough tempo changes throughout to make the track lack monotony. There are infectious and solid call and response vocals going on in the verses. This reminds me most of Dillinger Four in the 90s or even the Clash. The powerful “TV” closes out the five-song set. This is the heaviest track of this debut EP. Early Descendents vibes are strong on this track.

I extremely look forward to what is to come for the Pop Icons. Their social media indicates that a full-length is forthcoming in 2021. This is an impressive debut for a band who formed barely a year ago. This band may wear their influences on their sleeves, but they do it very well. Pop Icons represent the true American pop punk and punk rock sound. This quick listen is worth your time.