In this review, I’m going to be exploring a new studio endeavor from Gas Station Disco, a four-piece pop outfit hailing from Pottsville, PA. They describe themselves as a “driven, dynamic, and unpredictable indie pop band with an eclectic approach.” Their new EP, ‘Dog Bites and Cat Fights,’ attempts to deliver on that. Does it, though? Let’s explore its six new tunes and find out. In recent years, there has been a rise of pop rock outfits with just enough edge to define themselves in the rock sphere as well. When bands like Fall Out Boy came back on the scene, alongside rising outfits like Marianas Trench, a genre that was originally secluded to the turn of the century has found a niche alive and well in the 2010’s.
Gas Station Disco aligns with this crowd, pushing forward enough grit into their sound to be raw, but enough pop into it to be infectious, too. ‘Complicated Bliss’ opens up the band and introduces several notable things. Firstly, their production quality is very good, certainly far beyond that of most independent bands. The song also provides early insight into the rest of the album – the band’s pop-infused style that’s very rooted in catchy, likable choruses. Does this make the actual lyricism a bit void of intense depth? Probably, but that’s probably the band’s creative decision.
‘Cough Medicine’ is the first real excursion through Gas Station Disco’s aforementioned grit and rawness. As a result, it’s by far one of the best tunes on the endeavor. While it’s just as radio-friendly and catchy as its predecessor, it offers classic riffing and musical styles with a particular amount of authentic rock realism. This is starkly contrasted by ‘Crayon Marks,’ the pretty acoustic ballad following it that’s surprisingly lovely. ‘Defining Legends’ is probably the most forgettable track of the effort, if not just because it’s too eerily similar to the style of ‘Complicated Bliss’ to define its own space on the EP. ‘Hello’ follow, and yes, it’s an Adele cover. Now, ‘Hello’ has been covered by everyone and their brother as of late.
That said, Gas Station Disco melds their own style into it without straying far from the original. The result is a cover that’ll probably appeal to Gas Station Disco’s fans more than Adele’s original. ‘Windows’ is a fine exit for the album, slamming the listener with some electronic dance musings that weren’t present on other parts of the album. The clash between the electronics and the band’s power-chord rock and roll is quite splendid, thus making the finale one of the best tracks. ‘Dog Bites and Cat Fights’ is a very strong endeavor worth checking out if this type of music appeals to you. It’s a statement of powerful production and passionate pop rock with enough of its own flair to justify a cover of an overplayed international hit, too.