Review: Not So Easy EP

New York-based Ska band’s EP is small but packs a punch

Photo courtesy of Bandcamp

Photo courtesy of Bandcamp

4 Point 0, a Syracuse-based band described as a ska/rock band with influences from third wave ska, punk, jazz, funk, hardcore, and classical music, released their Not So Easy EP on May 11, 2013.

   The first track, “So Easy,” starts off with blaring horn lines that expertly segue into the first verse, which injects the third wave ska influence with the up-beats on guitar. The chorus is catchy on its own, however, the trading of vocals and horns between the different voices is excellent. Once the track hits the breakdown, the half-time feel of the drums further emphasizes the expertly crafted horn section.

   The second track, “Horrorscopes,” starts with fast vocals accompanied by a high energy horn lick. The song is very similar in structure to “So Easy,” except for the breakdown, which is a lot more hardcore than “So Easy”’s breakdown. The track is a perfect transition into the album’s shining song.

   Track three, titled “Lighthouses Rule,” is the jewel of this EP with a significantly more hardcore feel. The song starts with a rocking horn line and continues into the first verse while the most abrasive vocals on the album take over the spotlight. The chorus is extremely catchy, with the vocals neck and neck with the best horn lick on this entire album. The best part of the song is the breakdown; it makes use of the feel of the song to craft a hardcore ending.

   One of the strangest transitions on the album is from the third track to the fourth, “You Could Be My Ex,” which is a much happier sounding song. The track has the same vocal style as the first track, and it feels more like a third wave ska song than any other track on the EP. The song itself is good; it’s just the weakest on the EP.

   The final track, “Cheap Shots,” is one of the more interesting tracks because of the feel of the piece. The trumpet solo that starts the track sets the Latin feel for the rest of the song, and while the feel might deviate in the chorus, it always sits perfectly back into the Latin beat. I’ve never thought about mixing Latin feel into ska-punk, however it molds nearly perfectly.

  Not So Easy is so good, all of the songs are great and 4 point 0 placed every song, except maybe “You Could Be My Ex,” expertly. While the few complaints I have are apparent, they’re greatly overshadowed by how good this album is.