Despite boasting former members of hardcore and powerviolence acts, Puddle Splasher plays a brand of alternative rock that owes a lot to the early 90’s emo and college radio rock. In fact, the band’s debut EP, Poor Planning, is pretty much entirely indebted to that entire era. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing really depends on how you feel about the post-grunge emo boom of twenty years ago.
Credit where it is due: if you were to tell a kid that Puddle Splasher was around to play alongside the likes of Mineral and Jawbreaker, there’s a good chance that they would believe up right up until they looked up the band’s Facebook page. Unfortunately, while that trait is one of Puddle Splasher’s strongest, it is also their weak spot. Plenty of bands these days take influence from that era and will openly express their desires to be like their heroes, and Puddle Splasher isn’t any different. The band faithfully reproduces the sounds of their heroes but they don’t ever really take the time to nail down anything to make the music distinctly theirs.
Poor Planning isn’t exactly a bad release so much as it is just… is. The songs on here certainly aren’t awful songs (the title track in particular stands out above the rest), but it’s also all been done before, both much better and much worse. If you’re bored by Sunny Day Real Estate’s post-Diary albums, or if Mineral’s complete discography just isn’t big enough for you, then you might want to give Puddle Splasher a shot. Everyone else might want to wait on them for a bit until they’ve refined their sound to call their own.
2.5 / 5 – Stream it below!
RIYL: Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, Title Fight