Element 101 – Stereo Girl

Element 101
Stereo Girl

I must admit, pop-punk is a little more interesting with cute female vocals. After all, us guys need to hear the other side of the story. We have an endless supply of songs by whiny, punk guys about how girls suck, so it’s good to get a dose of the female perspective every now and then.
Element 101 show more hints of bubble gum pop than aggressive punk. Produced by Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton of All and The Descendents, there are just enough traces of those bands’ style to make the producers known, but not enough for Element 101 to be called “punk.” Tons of pop hooks, punchy instrumentation, and the aforementioned female vocals make for a bouncy listening experience that could hook people of varying musical preferences, from emo geeks to punks.
Songs like “Dead Romance Language Club,” “Standing on the Edge ff Night” and the excellent instrumental “A Desperate Plea for the Retaliation of the Mundane” shows definite influence of bands like All and The Descendents, while tracks like “To Whom It May Concern” and “20 Years in the Making” are slower and equally catchy, but could be nauseating if taken in heavy doses.
Like most bands this poppy, things get a little stagnant by the album’s end. Crissie Verhagen’s nasally vocals could easily irritate some people, and some tracks are so upbeat they sound like they belong on a lame teeny-bopper film soundtrack, but the album is playful and well-crafted enough to keep your attention through most of it.