Album Review: Cedar Boulevard – Cedar Boulevard (2015 EP)

cedar boulevard ep art

The world of pop punk music is a competitive one and the smartest strategy you can ever have is to fuse it with something else. Cedar Boulevard are no ordinary happy-go-lucky band; they are a band that acquaints post-hardcore elements into their music as well. Balance is always key and it’s safe to say they have achieved this in their latest offering. Slowly but surely, if they continue making music like this, they will eventually have what it takes to expand their horizons, and rule the world with each symphonic hit at a time.

The opener “A Raven Like A Writing Desk” is a stunning track as the development of the music itself was well-thought out. Incorporating orchestral aspects into this song envelopes a mysterious line for the band, showcasing a unique sound that makes them stand apart. It’s balanced with insane electric guitar work, strong vocals and a reflection of say, A Day To Remember with the exclusion of heavy breakdowns. This is refreshing to see as not many bands know how mix genres very well as some fall into the trap of sounding too generic.

Familiar instrumentals of a pop punk band are always nice to hear and “All That I Wished For” complements the previous heavy styled track. With similar musicalities to New Found Glory and The Starting Line, it’s melodic and catchy, providing an ear-candy aesthetic to the number. It has the infectious, poppy feel that makes pop punk sound good, creating a dreamy atmosphere of positivity and love. Vocalist, Julian Comeau nails every note with each guitar chord and brisk drum sequence that it’s hard to overlook the passionate atmosphere they embody in their creativity.

Losing the momentum of the fast-paced start to the EP, “Fall Apart” is an acoustic gem. Experimentation for music is healthy as it develops the band’s progression in sound and this is a good move. Comeau’s vocals outshine the rest. This one definitely shows a hidden quality to the band, revealing a soft and sentimental side for them.

“Shorelines & Shipwrecks” highlights the exceptional guitar work that makes them stand out. We see them push their boundaries by using core elements in the post-hardcore genre as a way to balance out the zany nature of pop punk. Cedar Boulevard have proven that they’re not afraid to be inventive in their work, with their open-ended complex music progression and climatic song structures.

Reminiscent of All Time Low‘s So Wrong, It’s Right days, “Maybe” is a light-hearted anthem to end the band’s debut. However, this track is a weak contender compared to their other tracks, sounding a little generic in the forefront. The chorus is appealing in its style as it uses the predictable chanting and loud framework which comes hand in hand in the pop punk genre . Surprisingly, it doesn’t take away the enjoyment of the EP as the eccentric electric guitar solo somehow finds its way in.

Coming across many contending pop punk bands, Cedar Boulevard stand on their own two feet with this debut release. It’s amazing to see the incredible amounts of effort and thought they have put together in this EP and it’d be a shame for them to not receive the attention they deserve. Suffice it to say, they’ve released something magical and it’s only going to get better from here.

Review Score: 9.0 out of 10

Cedar Boulevard’s debut self-titled EP is currently available. To stay up to date with the band head to their official Facebook page HERE

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