Review by Dom Vigil
Crisp and emotional vocals open up The New Varsity’s EP, Reflections, and almost immediately, it’s impossible to deny the talent that this group has. The intro, while only 52 seconds long, is gripping, emotional, and above everything, pretty as vocalist Kyle Feyk sings, “I’m getting sick of waking up on my bedroom floor,” as a cold opening to the album. And as Reflections transitions into the next track, “Waiting Room,” it becomes apparent that this is one solid pop-punk EP.
Fast paced with crisp, clean and prominent vocals, Reflections has everything that makes a strong pop-punk album. While sometimes the vocals tend to overpower the instrumentals (especially in “Waiting Room,” where it would have been nice to hear more of that strong bass tone) there are also some strong lead guitar hooks that shine, and the EP is overall very catchy and fun to listen to. “Waiting Room,” for instance, is a very emotional track as Feyk cries, “This is the last time.” Another one of the strongest aspects of the album is also in the pretty vocal harmonies, which really shine in “We’re Not Real Friends” and second to last track, “Down In The Count.”
Reflections is everything that a good summer pop-punk EP should be; it’s catchy and memorable, with vocals and lyrics that are easy to sing along with. The final track, “Rosemount,” is a really good example of this. The chorus is very memorable and catchy, and the instrumentation is some of the strongest on the EP as it feels the most balanced and hosts some strong guitar and bass work.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that Reflections is game changer, as we’re all familiar with what makes a good pop-punk album, but it definitely does hit that mark. All six songs on this EP are worth listening to, as they all have their own sound and moments that make them strong. Crisp vocal harmonies are a strong point of many tracks, but there is also a great rhythm section in “We’re Not Real Friends,” and the emotion is definitely high in “Rosemount.” "Midwest Love Affair" is easily the fullest and sounding track on the album, especially in the big, well balanced chorus. By the time Reflections comes to an end, I’m excited and interested to see how The New Varsity grows with a full length in the future.
Listen to "Midwest Love Affair" or "Rosemount"