Album Review: Pulley – “The Long and the Short of It”

There’s a saying that goes: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” This saying can easily be applied to SoCal punk outfit Pulley, and their latest EP, “The Long and the Short of It.” While many things about the punk music scene have changed over the years, Pulley has remained determined to craft skate-punk like it’s 1995 all over again.

This is certainly not a bad thing, as Pulley is composed of strong musicians, and are the sort of band that listeners will want to listen to over and over again. Really, “The Long and the Short of It” would only be a disappointment if anyone expected Pulley to delve into screamo, death metal, or anything equally bizarre for a melodic skate-punk band.

For Pulley fans, this EP is pretty much what you’ve grown to expect by now. It’s catchy, mosh-able skate punk that isn’t repetitive or boring. It’s the sort of skate punk that fans would yearn to hear live, played as fast and furiously as possible.

One issue with the EP is that while all three tracks are classic Pulley, none of them fully capture the many facets of the band’s sound. Pulley’s 2009 EP, “Time-Insensitive Material,” did a better job of this with tracks like “Ghost Inside My Skin,” a darker, less punk-y tune that showcased the band as great musicians who are able to push the skate punk boundaries. Frontman Scott Radinsky’s songwriting abilities really shined through on their last EP, but doesn’t manage to capture the same feeling with “The Long and the Short of It.” Then again, this is only a three-song EP, so the band were rather limited in how experimental they could go

The first track of the EP, “No Mans Flute,” gets the album off to an energetic and aggressive start. The track contains the best guitar solo of the EP, and proves that while Pulley make have taken it slower in the release department lately, that hasn’t diminished the overall quality of the work they produce. When track 2, “The Long and the Short of It” starts up, Pulley fans will already have developed a strong addiction to the catchy and bombastic sound that Pulley have crafted over the years.

“Which Way To Go” is an appropriate album closer, depicting a band looking for the next step. It’s funny that the song fits in so well, as it is actually a cover of a song by Texas punk act The Big Boys, but fits in perfectly with the other two songs on the EP, and all of Pulley’s work to date.

So while “The Long and the Short of It” may not exactly reinvent the wheel, it will definitely remind fans of why they first started listening to Pulley in the first place. This is classic Pulley, and as another saying goes, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

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