ep review: ponderosa

July 10th marked the start of a new chapter for Southern California band Hate Drugs with the release of their fourth EP Ponderosa. Hate Drugs an upbeat indie pop band from Bakersfield, California and since their formation in 2014 they’ve been putting out great music and high energy shows. This EP is slower and more low-key than their recent albums. It feels a lot more similar to their last EP, 2014, which was a vault of songs from the band’s early years. The best way I can describe the sound of this EP is soft and distant, instead of playing loud and fast in your ear the music feels more like a distant soundtrack playing the background. It’s very sweet. 

The first three songs are completely different from anything the band has put out thus far–more instrumental-based than lyric focused. “Day II (Divine Providence)” sounds like the sweetest indie love song and might just be my favorite song off the EP. It reminds me of a 2000s love song in the best way possible, think the soundtrack to the Miley Cyrus movie LOL. The third track of this EP, “Day III (Falling Slowly),”  switches things up with an instrumental track which nicely bridges the EP together and shows the band’s musical talent beyond their lyrics. The last song, “Night III (Coming Down),” is more similar to their previous work on the Tsunami Soul albums. It’s faster and more upbeat than the rest but like the rest of the songs on the EP, the vocals are fuzzy and blend beautifully into the instrumentals. 

The whole EP feels like a lullaby in the best possible way. It’s very relaxing and feels like a warm summer night, perfect for night drives. This short sample of Hate Drug’s new chapter has me excited to see what comes next for the band’s new and more mature sound. 

Listen to Ponderosa here:

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