The Hung Ups are a three piece snotty pop punk band from Salt Lake City, Utah. Since forming in 2009 they have put out quite a few releases, including their newest effort - a five track EP titled Insanity Plea. This is my first time hearing The Hung Ups but I am very intrigued by their own description of snotty pop punk and seeing their influences listed as Dear Landlord, Screeching Weasel, Banner Pilot and The Queers makes me thing that The Hung Ups are a band that I'm going to love.
The first song on the EP is named This Summer. As you might expect from a band that describe themselves as snotty pop punk, the track starts out very quickly and is very much a no thrills affair. Exactly how I enjoy my pop punk. The Hung Ups spend no time at all in reaching the chorus which is when the song really hits its highs. This Summer is about wanting to spend your time with someone who is with somebody else and how much that sucks. This is followed up with the song Slipping Away. The thing about this track that quickly pricked my ear was how the vocals seemingly are sung with a different melody compared to the chorus. However as I keep listening the two seem to come together. I really liked this. The track is very catchy it and it will not be long until you're singing the lines "I feel it all just slipping away."
I Gotta Know is one of the darker feeling songs on Insanity Plea. It's about wanting to know where you stand in your relationship and whether or not it's about to end. At the beginning of the song the guitars sound like they're being played with a lower tone and the drums feel like they're being hit with an extra bit of power. I was super impressed with the guitar solo that leads into the final chorus and the track's big harmony-filled ending. The penultimate song is named Episodes. Episodes is a track that looks at mental health and the frustrations in dealing with it every day. Despite the downbeat nature of the song, musically it's actually pretty playful and fun. I think this is great as will make the song more accessible for the many people going through the same thing and hopefully put a smile on their face. The final track on Insanity Plea is named Boiling Point. On this track the vocals change to a much angrier snotty style. I'm not actually sure if this is still the original singer or somebody else has taken the lead vocal. Either way, the song is filled with a new intensity and ensures that Insanity Plea finishes in some style. The extra intensity really adds to the song's theme of being angry and reaching the end of your tether. This is really smart songwriting and adds plenty of extra emotion to the song. What a great way to finish the EP.
I'm a bit sad that I didn't stumble upon The Hung Ups sooner because they play the kind of snotty fast pop punk that I grew up on. Insanity Plea is a great introduction to the band and has encouraged me to delve deeper into the band's back catalogue.
Stream and download Insanity Plea here: https://thehungups.bandcamp.com/
Like The Hung Ups here: https://www.facebook.com/thehungups/
This review was written by Colin Clark.