If you’re not familiar with Coffee Project, let me give you a quick introduction. The duo hail from Gainesville and include Buddy from Less Than Jake and Jake who used to be in Rehasher. Imagine catchy and fast pop punk on an acoustic guitar, then add a trombone. Then imagine that every terrible band you’ve ever heard try something like this wasn’t terrible and were actually awesome. That’s basically Coffee Project. Their bandcamp says they “play upbeat catchy singalong acoustic songs that feel more like a punk rock show and less like a coffee shop gig” and that description is pretty accurate it seems.
That said, Coffee Project is truly one my favorite bands I feel I don’t hear enough from. Their new 7”, Wasted Love, which is out now on A-F Records (the label owned by Anti-Flag) comes off as a simple break up record upon seeing the artwork and hearing the title track. But I’m not sure that’s a fair analysis.
See, what I like about this record is that it reflects a breakup from multiple angles, not just the direct heartbreak and sad songs. It talks about frustration with social media, handling anxiety, and how the rest of the world may be perceived from someone who has just lost love, not just one’s inner feelings of grief.
It’s not my favorite thing the band has ever done, but there’s not a ton for me to analyze with only four short songs. They do a good job, as usual, of combining folk elements with punk energy without sounding like a typical folk punk band. It doesn’t feel like a release I can compare to their others, it just sounds like a continuation of what Coffee Project does.
Regardless, I’m going to give this a 3.5/5, (can I give them a 75%? C?) but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. I just wish it was longer and I had more to digest.
Go see Coffee Project at Fest this year, you won’t regret it. Listen to Wasted Love below, and please consider supporting the band and label.