Add hip-hop beats, emo lyrics, and a Ghibli-inspired soundscape and aesthetic to that mix. The young Floridian band is modelling a new look for modern-day punk music in their third album without compromising the more gritty elements that make up the punk genre.
Epitaph Records represents the band consisting of lead vocalist Joshua Roberts, guitarists Tristan Torres and Freddie Criales, bassist Jared Kay, drummer Joe Horsham, and keyboardist Vincent Ernst.
Producers Mat Malpass, Andrew Wade and Andy Karpovck created a lively EP:
With featured artists like Mayday Parade’s lead Derek Sanders and Bad Suns’ Christo Bowman, the songs benefit from recognisable industry sweethearts' voices. The unique sound of Magnolia Park interweaves punk into elements from various pop subcultures and groups like anime soundtracks or alternative music.
Novel and accessible dance music. Also, a progressive snapshot of the average punk rocker that is not exclusive to teenagers with darkened clothes and violent poses. Young and old “little dark souls” could afford to chew on the idea since the punk subculture centres around non-conformity.
One of their songs “Serious” pays homage to this punk ideal. The “Serious” music video situates Roberts, Torres, Criales, Kay, Horsham, Ernst and Baku in a situational comedy shot at the turn of the century. The playful music video is a three-minute title sequence called “A Walk in the Park” depicting the musicians wreaking havoc and messing around in a brightly-coloured suburb. There are many shots of the characters flipping off the cameraperson.
All in all, a portrayal of the band’s synergy and sense of humour while showcasing a creative expression of the song lyrics “I can't help being myself” and “stop taking me serious”.
“Feel Something” from the EP is reminiscent of what a long-time follower of punk rock music could feel inclined to headbang to. The steady drumming and repetition of the lyrics “I want to feel something” also lean toward the emo punk genre.
“Gravedigger” and “Tokyo” are more forthright in the description of love as a drug. The high-energy beats make use of synthesisers and samples to create a harmonious TikTok-ready sound.
Overall, the blend of genres that make up Magnolia Park only contributes to the statement behind “Heart Eater”. In pairing bright melodies and music videos with deep real-life problems articulated in their lyrics, the band offers a light-hearted approach to getting older.
“We shouldn't take ourselves so seriously and we should always remember to have fun and enjoy life,” they said.