For some of us, finding the right song as an introduction to a new band can be a pretty daunting task, so I decided to compile a list of 10 songs that are the perfect intro tunes to some new bands.
Up first, the Lansing Michigan punks Hot Mulligan.
With the band's unique blend of poignant lyrics and howling vocals, their sound is something different to what you'll find most bands doing in the scene today, making Hot Mulligan the perfect band to add to your playlist.
The band has rapidly taken the underground punk scene by storm and it's easy to see why. Their latest full-length effort Pilot, is easily one of the best pop-punk albums released this year, and better yet, they have a whole slew of EPs and a few singles that make their catalogue a dream come true for any punk kid looking for some angst-ridden lyrics and aggressive guitars.
So, without further ado, here's 10 songs from Hot Mulligan that you should check out...
1. "The Soundtrack To A Missing Slamdunk"
The boys in Hot Mulligan have a pretty extensive list of music from their few EPs and full-length debut, and this track is one of the best introductions to the band that I personally could think of. Marking the second single from their latest effort, 'Pilot,' it's a track that showcases the band's signature brand of punk.
With its infectious and easy-to-scream lyrics, the song is practically a pop-punk anthem (you know, of the Good Charlotte kind.) The track has biting vocals from both the band's vocalists, Chris Freeman and Tades Sanville, and a steady backing beat, making this track one of the shining stars of 'Pilot.'
The track has a pretty distinctive sound, and while the band is still fairly up-and-coming, the song helps set the tone that these guys are doing something different to what any of the bands are doing in the scene right now. It's the perfect song for a first-time listener to get acquainted with this band's catchy brand of pop-punk.
If there's one song that pops-up pretty often when searching through Hot Mulligan's songs, "Dary" is one that comes up quite often, and for good reason. The song is a fairly easy track that packs a major punch...literally, go to a Hot Mulligan show to see the crowd's reaction when they play this song, my body still hasn't recovered from being front row (and that was days ago!)
Not only does this track have some pretty relatable lyrics, it also has a catchy melodramatic chorus perfect for screaming out the heartbreak of loving someone who is just using you for their own selfish gains.
3. "Wes Dault Can't Find The Madison Falcon"
The song, like most of this band's songs, is well-written and lyrically, it's an incredibly catchy song that you'll be screaming the lyrics to after a listen or two. The lyrics themselves make this track impressive, but once you pair it with the song's heavy guitar riffs and aggressive drum beats, you'll find that this song is the perfect punk anthem you've been dying to find.
While the backing to Sanville and Freeman's vocals are pretty upbeat, the band still kept it fairly simple to showcase the vocals of the track, which gives listeners the chance to listen to the duo deliver some pretty angsty lines. Between Sanville's raspy and lively take on most of the track and Freeman's backing, it's a song that showcases just how well the two blend vocally.
The track is a perfect blend of everything that works in Hot Mulligan, and it just keeps getting better after every listen.
4. "I’m Turning To O - Positive”
Much like one of the songs you'll find a bit further down on this list, "I'm Turning To O-Positive," is one of the songs you'll find that was created in the band's early stages.
While it's a bit of an older track, it's a fairly dynamic song that sounds like it could be something the band just recently put out. The guitars and drums paired with the howling vocals of both Freeman and Sanville make for a really captivating and engaging song.
It's a sing-along track that still conveys a strong and emotional undertone; making it the perfect song to show that this band can not only write a catchy track but deliver it in a way that still showcases just how raw the emotions of the lyrics are.
Album: Honest And Cunning
5. “How Do You Know It’s Not Armadillo Shells?”
The four-piece threw listeners for a loop when dropping this vocal heavy song. It's easily a different sound than the rest of the album, and while it stands out for its vocal-heavy delivery and toned down instrumentals, it still fits the mould of the band's catchy and lyrically-driven sound.
With Sanville's raspy and dynamic vocals, paired with the experimental keys and rhythms, it makes for this track to be one of the most catchy and diverse in the band's entire catalogue. While it's different, it still keeps that classic HM flair, you know, with the interesting song name and roaring delivery of the lyrics.
This track is a clear definition of what it means to be a punk in today's scene. The band took a risk in the track and it clearly paid off.
6. “I Replied To Tyler With Three Blue Cars”
This song is truly a masterpiece.
It's a gritty song that delivers a punch, between the band's raw delivery of the vocals and the hard-hitting lyrics, it's hard not to feel some sort of way after listening to it.
While it's more on the slower side of things, that doesn't stop it from being one of the rawest songs that can get any crowd of 20-somethings going. It's easy to feel the pain and discontent of the band due to the angst-driven lyrics and screaming vocals, and you'll want to yell the lyrics right with along with them.
7. "Visited Salmon, I Mean Transit Balcony "
I debated throwing this song in this list, but it's just so good I couldn't pass it up when creating this list. The song is one of the band's earliest, and while you may find it not as mature sounding as something you might find in later Hot Mulligan songs, it's a track that really helped establish the band's pop mixed with punk and a little emo sound.
The song is fairly lively, with its upbeat pace and biting vocals, and it is one of those songs you can't help but scream the lyrics to.
8. "Deluxe Capacitor"
Before I give you my spiel about this wonderful track, I'd like to mention that the band also has re-energized, upbeat, take on the song, which you can listen to here.
Anyways, back to the acoustic version of the song...taking the time to slow things down, the band dropped this acoustic track that showcases that they are a band that can wear many hats, not just the upbeat emo punks that we've grown accustomed to throughout their catalogue.
The acoustic take on the song not only gives the band's vocalists Chris Freeman and Tades Sanville the opportunity to put their powerhouse vocals to the forefront of the song, it also allows the listener the time to really digest some of the lyrics, showing that not only does this band put out some fantastic songs, they also take pride in putting out deep lyrical content.
9. "All You Wanted By Michelle Branch"
You'll be surprised to find that this song isn't a cover of Michelle Branch's 2001 release "All You Wanted," but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check out this song (though I'm sure we all wouldn't mind seeing the guys tackle a real-deal cover of the song.)
The track is a lyrically-driven breakup anthem that the Lansing band has an arsenal of. The poignant track may be heavy, but that hasn't stopped the band from providing heavy guitar-driven riffs to make the sad song a vibe-worthy sing-along.
You'll want to add this song to your playlist (and yes, I hate myself for including this last line...)
One of the band's earlier songs, "Legen" is on the band's split record with Everyone Leaves. Since the song was featured on a record with another group, the band really focused in on what makes them unique.
Keeping their signature brand of pop mixed with a little emo, the little over a minute track is a fast-paced punk song that is raw and chopped full of emotion. With its gritty vocals and guitar heavy backing, you'll find that the quick song is one of the gems hidden in the band's catalogue.
It can be pretty hard finding the right songs to listen to when you first discover a band, but these 10 songs are the perfect introduction to Hot Mulligan!
Do you agree with my list? Let me know in the comments below!
This story was originally published in The Odyssey. You can read it here.