Review: Best Ex- Ice Cream Anti-social (Alcopop!)

Posted: August 10, 2017 in Reviews

Hey, new band…well, kind of. This is technically a re-naming of Candy Hearts, but Best Ex is pretty far removed sonically from its former self. Candy Hearts were a super melodic, pop-punk band from New York that released three records and had some reasonable success with their sound, but founder and lead singer Mariel has completely re-invented the band’s sound for the first Best Ex EP. This is all synth-y, float-y poppy indie, reminiscent of, I don’t know Chvrches or modern Paramore, or something. I mean…it’s alright. I can get into that kind of sound if the mood is right, but the song-writing is just not up to much. That is why I never really could get into Candy Hearts, to be honest. Way too whiny, in an adolescent way. The tone and feel of Mariel’s songwriting often grates with me and ‘Ice Cream Anti-social’ (ugh, that EP title, just…ugh) is no different, really.

The synths have replaced the guitars, but, in many ways, this is a continuation of Candy Hearts in many ways. The feel of the whole EP basically reminds me of Avril Lavigne, which may turn you on or off, most obviously the song “Girlfriend”, which is, yep, essentially a boring version of Avril’s song of the same name. Things work a little better towards the back end of the EP, with the synth-y hooks sticking on “See You Again” and things changing up on the cutes-y, acoustic ditty, “Jellyfish” (kind of a rip off of Laura Stevenson, but ok!). This EP is not terrible by any means and hooks will implant themselves in your head in parts, but I just find this kind of songwriting somewhat affectated and whiny. Sorry!

Listen here: https://bestexnj.bandcamp.com/album/ice-cream-anti-social

DB

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