Hurry-Up Offense - The Labor Day EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Hurry-Up Offense

The Labor Day EP (2004)


Released just about a year after their full-length, The Labor Day EP finds Hurry-Up Offense as a completely different band. Well, not quite, but at least they're much better. I found Donald Moore to be unintentionally hilarious, with horrid production, first take performances, and shitty artwork to boot. I gave the release a 1 star review, and actually I think I threw the CD away. It takes a lot for me to do that, but usually a 1 or 1/2 star review will suffice - I don't have the room in my apartment for crap to pile up. I may hold on to this one, for it is leaps and bounds better in terms of production, letting you actually focus on the songs, which are also an improvement. While they do still sound like Cheshire Cat-era Blink, the comparison doesn't fit quite as well now. It is just simple punk, but a little more focused and refined. Perhaps this is due in part to this being only ten minutes and three songs, so they were able to spend the necessary time and moolah on making these sound good where on their last release they were most likely rushed.

When opener "Punk Life (Juicy)" started, I found myself enjoying the lyrics reminiscing about growing up as a young punk rocker and starting your own band. With lines like, "Hangin' pictures on my wall / Every Saturday Gilman Street taking over for baseball" as well as lines about reading Thrasher magazine and playing old video game systems thrown in ("Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis / I remember when punk was about being pissed" makes for an enjoyable listen for people who can relate. Plus, the singing is decent this time around, energetic yet not completely crappy, and the music going from minor verses to a quick modulation for a catchy major chorus make this a pretty good tune.

There is not much room for the missteps of their full length on here, and rounding out the EP "Knock Out" reminds me of Anywhere But Here Ataris with its sing-able "oh's" and "Think Out Loud" has some nice spastic lyrics and solid drumming. There are no glaring mistakes here, but it is still pretty barebones punk and not really what I look for in a band.

While it's still nothing earth shattering and it's so damn short, Hurry-Up Offense have grown quickly and shown that with the proper time spent, they can put together a solid group of not-too-poppy punk ditties. If they can make a full length with all the songs being this caliber, they will definitely be worthy of a pop punk fan's attention and of a higher scoring.