It is not a stretch to say this three-song EP from Suburban Samurai has it all. “Gutter Eyes” is the kind of short, fast, and in-your-face hardcore song every punk album should have at least three of. It doesn’t mess around, grabbing you by the throat and throwing you into a circle pit of mayhem. This is a PEARS-style punk song with a hair more melody than Sick of It All.
“This Town” starts off in the same vein before abruptly transforming into a ska-punk feel, a la early Millencolin or Reel Big Fish without the horns. These guys are not only solid instrumentalists but they know how to write, too, with harmonically interesting chord progressions and cohesive lyrics. “This Town” ends the way it began, like a hardcore song but with a dash of vocals and a Strung Out-like guitar riff to sign off.
The EP mellows out for the first minute of “Birthday”. “Birthday” is only guitar and vocals for the first verse, and even when the rest of the band slams itself into the mix, the tempo is still held in check. A brief power-pop section, stylistically similar to New Found Glory and Seaway, follows before returning to the breakneck speeds of the first two songs – almost sounds like we’re in 2002 again – and then fading out in distortion.
At only three songs under seven minutes, this EP certainly isn’t in danger of being too long. Hardcore-punk, ska-punk, pop-punk: Short But Not Short Enough, from Suburban Samurai, pretty much has it all.