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FiveSidedDice - Silly Songs For Clever Girls (self-released)

8 July 2024

When I see the term pop-punk used in the byline of a band, my heart sinks. Why? Because experience has shown that much of the music made in that genre was pretty uninspiring – frat boy humour lyrics with a bit of adolescent moaning on the side put to tried and tested, worn-out ska beats and grooves. Heard it all before? Yes, I have. And I mention this mainly to point out that the fabulously named FiveSidedDice are not that; they are not that by a long way.

As the equally fabulously named EP, Silly Songs For Clever Girls, proves, while there are some recognisable pop-punk rhythms to be found here, especially with the EP’s opener, “Lil Miss Melancholy,” it is the other sonic forces that are at work here that make this such a delicious sonic blast. And even with this first song, there is everything from nineties slacker rock to 60s pastel pop to be found in the mix.

“She’s A Computer” is a lighter affair, woven from more delicate, dreamscape indie-rock strands, a lilting, loose-limbed and quite lovely affair. “The Crystal to My Meth” drives along on some glorious pop energy via punk salvos and rock energy; the result is a magnificent take on the whole power-pop sound, and things are wrapped up with “Riddle Girl”, which, like all great songs is hard to categorize, wandering between west-coast yacht rock and ambient dreamscapes, shimmering indie vibes and pop’s smarter, more creative brother.

Never judge a book by the cover, and never judge a band by the tags found in their press release. As we all know, tags and sound bites will only get you so far, and now, even 300 words in, I feel I still haven’t really done Silly Songs For Clever Girls justice. I guess that you will just have to give it a spin and work things out for yourselves. And you should, you really, really should.