There is a lot of good pop music out there (see Africa by Toto) and there is a lot up for grabs in the genre in terms of success. Best Ex take a shot at the pop throne with Ice Cream Anti-Social, following their pop-punk days as Candy Hearts. And in full honestly, they really should have stuck to what they know.
Opening track Girlfriend shows you exactly what you need to know with this release. It tries to replicate the bubble gum pop style that is performed best by artists like Kero Kero Bonito, and it truly falls on its face. The track feels incredibly devoid of energy and fun that the genre requires, and it feels as though it drags itself on for far too long without really inciting any emotion. “the oh oh”s that accompany the chorus are droning and flat, and their attempts to accompany the weak and bland chorus are truly futile.
The EP continues this theme with Lonely Life, which holds a little more character and chirpiness, but the execution of the track leaves it just a little way off being enjoyable. It’s difficult to nail this song down, as it feels like there’s something missing, and if it were there, the song could be an easy, entry-level enjoyable pop track. Instead, it remains a droning, irritating replication of the rest of the EP.
This is one of the real issues of this release- Best Ex do the same thing over and over hoping that it will become better. It becomes unfortunately repetitive, and in a release like this diversity really is key. The vocals especially keep the EP tethered down, and it becomes irritatingly droney. The track See You Again draws the most connection between Best Ex and their previous project Candy Hearts with accentuated live instrumentation and almost distorted bass guitars during the chorus, but it still retains the pop sensibilities the whole release sits on. A departure of some description arrives on final track Jellyfish with the instrumentals being replaced with a simple ukulele/ vocal combination- and while it stands out as being one of the better-written tracks on the EP, it still floats downwards due to it simply being boring.
Ice Cream Anti-Social thinks it’s playing the game safe with dull, easily regurgitated bubble gum pop, but just seems to fall flat on its face. This release is, if you were ever looking for it, the musical representation of a wet paper towel- damp, unpleasant, and falling apart as you hold it. Just save yourself some trouble and listen to some Kero Kero Bonito instead.
Really not worth your time, this one... If only Best Ex were still Candy Hearts, eh?