Mixtape review: Magnolia Park – Halloween Mixtape II

The Orlando pop-punkers’ newest release is a box of tricks with maybe not enough treats…

Mixtape review: Magnolia Park – Halloween Mixtape II
Emma Wilkes

Magnolia Park’s debut album Baku’s Revenge represented 2020s pop-punk at its finest – virulent hooks, quirky inflections of other genres, a touch of nostalgia, but with a blunter, darker frankness to their lyrics that set them apart from their peers. Almost a year later, they’re celebrating spooky season in the loudest way they know how with their second Halloween-themed mixtape. It’s stuffed full of ideas – far more than Baku’s Revenge had room for – but they haven’t yet learned that, just like cramming your mouth full of chocolate after trick-or-treating, it’s very possible to have too much of a good thing.

Generally, the songs on Halloween Mixtape II work better when the Orlando quintet take a more straightforward approach. The soaring Breathing is easily the most memorable song here, with its subtle bursts of trap-pop helping it to deviate from the usual pop-punk cliches, while Haunted House dances on the line between pop and electro-rock with a spooky twist. Indeed, most of these songs have got at least some great ideas within them, but they’re often buried beneath ideas that are sometimes questionable.

For example, there are glimpses of some unique trap-rock stylings on the darkly dramatic Do Or Die, but it’s rather disjointed and its attempts to sound evil come across as odd. Animal suffers from a similar problem despite glimmers of potential in its heavy sections, while opener The End: Emo Nite Rhapsody crams three songs into the space of one with no real flow between them. This clunky over-abundance of ideas means that this already long mixtape becomes quite a slog to get through, but that’s not nearly as frustrating as the fact that Magnolia Park have already proved they’re capable of so much better.

Verdict: 2/5

For fans of: Hot Milk, Stand Atlantic, KennyHoopla

Halloween Mixtape II is out now via Epitaph

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