EP Review: Maggie Cassidy – Life Is Beautiful
Named after a Jack Kerouac novel about adolescent romance, Guildford newcomers Maggie Cassidy make effervescent and lyrically astute alt.rock-meets-pop-punk that pays homage to the literary great after which they are named. Life Is Beautiful, the quintet’s debut EP, showcases the band’s obvious potential, and while these five songs aren’t exactly ground-breaking, they’re pretty well put together.
Opening track Tell Me Why begins with a super-charged pop-punk intro which calls to mind the likes of Neck Deep – whose guitarist Seb Barlow produced this record – and ROAM, before giving way to more of a straight-up rocker that excels thanks to its sharp-edged bridge section and thumping conclusion. Just To Know is a similarly promising song that, despite being pretty formulaic, demonstrates Maggie Cassidy’s undeniable knack for melody, groove and a convincing chorus. S.A.D., meanwhile, is a smart analysis of Seasonal Affective Disorder that bounces along like a coming together of early Don Broco and Lower Than Atlantis.
If there’s one significant criticism to be levelled at Life Is Beautiful, it’s that by the time fourth track I’m Alive rolls around, things are starting to get a little repetitive. The music is coherent and functional, but despite displaying plenty of gusto, there are few times across this EP when its creators really do the unexpected. Closing acoustic number You Don’t Excite Me is somewhat of an exception to this, and even though it’s a song that feels a little too cloying, it’s one that really allows frontman Jamie Coupe’s vocals to shine. The overall result is an EP which could do with a little more Kerouac-inspired non-conformity, but one that doubtlessly promises greater things are yet to come from Maggie Cassidy.
For Fans Of: Neck Deep, Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis
Life Is Beautiful is released on July 31.
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