Hot Mulligan brings the nostalgia with “Honest & Cunning”, a heartfelt emo-pop punk record. Is calling “pop punk” emo redundant? The term “pop punk” tends to have a negative connotation with certain people so forgive me if I add a qualifier to it. Genres are confusing. I love pop punk so don’t take this the wrong way.
With track titles like, “I Played Tony Hawk’s RIDE Once and It Sucked” and “Jimmy Neutron Had a Dog Why Can’t I Have a Friend?” its hard to not convey a sentiment of attachment to the past. This sentiment is echoed by the lyrics in that first song, “So say goodbye to your mother and the house that you had as a kid. You’re heading to college to discover who you wish you were is.”Listening to pop punk always tends to bring me back to a different time and even though I’m not too familiar with Hot Mulligan, “Honest & Cunning” accomplishes just that. It’s a really good example of Pop Punk done right.
This EPs greatest strength is also its weakness. “Honest & Cunning” can be a little too familiar at times. My favorite track is I’m Tuning to O-Positive because the melody reminds me of a song by The Menzingers.
“Honest & Cunning” is well performed and hits in all the right the places. I’m looking forward to see how Hot Mulligan grows as a band and follows this record.
You can listen to and purchase the tape from Rad Dads Records here: https://raddadsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/honest-cunning
My Rating: 6/10