Hailing from The Bronx, NY, Ronx bill themselves as a pop punk band influenced by blink-182. Their output is actually far more varied than that, though, and – in ways both good and bad – their 2022 EP ‘Retrograde’ actually presents three tracks that sound like the work of three different bands. Fans of straight up pop punk will discover an instant banger; those with an emo heart will unveil a tune with a fine melodic angst and an important message, and – for their third instalment – Ronx reach deep for a slab of rhythmic pop that it’s hard to imagine any of their pop punk or emo-centric audience will ever truly love. Chances are, they won’t even like it.
Like a lot of people, Pierce Frolic turned to music as an escape from the heavier aspects of life. It was something he truly needed, since he struggled through school and, in his own words, “crashed out of college”, survived an automobile accident, ended up hospitalised through other misadventures and found himself surrounded by death. With friends having committed suicide or having their lives cut short through accidents, a dark world got even darker. With all of that in mind, it’s no wonder his debut release ‘Zinnia’ is obsessed with mortality.
Ohio pop punkers Cotter use their debut EP ‘On Sunset’ to deliver a barrage of emotionally charged messages. Its title, agreed on by the whole band, ‘On Sunset’ refers directly to their formation on Sunset Drive, but also – in their own words – how “heartbreak occurred, [the band] started and something beautiful came at the end of from it.” For those who’d rather not get too immersed in the song’s personal messages, most of the songs are loaded with absolutely classic pop punk riffs. Whether they’re tackling the Sum 41-esque bounce of ‘Blackout!’ or the obviously Fall Out Boy derived ‘Clumsy’, their musical talents shine brightly.
Towards the end of 2020, Octopus Montage released three digital singles with accompanying video clips. In November, ‘A Shortcut (To The Unconscious Mind)’ gave their followers and potential new fans a glimpse of their heavier side via various glitchy metalcore riffs. Combined with a deep growling vocal, the track was reminiscent of earlier works by Her Dying Regret. [Watch the video here.]