Soap Star Joe – Handstands for Love EP

Soap Star Joe
Handstands for Love EP

Isn’t the best stuff always just an EP? This five-song glimpse of Sydney, Australia’s three-piece Soap Star Joe is short but sweet, lyrically and instrumentally. Youthful best describes this release in the best essence of the word. Like a gold memory that takes you back to the good and innocent times of love, friends, and cherished struggles overcome.
It opens with the pop-punk and catchy “Met Drunk in a Corner,” which surely sounds like an experience we all have had and derives a story in its title alone. I am down for titles like “Handstands for Your Love” and lyrics like “She’s my long island iced tea and I don’t care if it’s happy hour.” The photograph of the boys and their skateboards on the insert doesn’t hurt much either. I mostly enjoyed the honesty and the songwriting style and variety.
Soap Star Joe use a majority of indie-pop rock, but the best song is the third track, titled “Miranda Boy,” which, unlike a lot of poppier punk bands, is a wonderful slow song full of emotion and sincerity while singing about the stuck up kid at school and friends moving away. Lyrics like “Sitting with your knees all crossed, your knees are faced inwards. Looking like a coffee table that’s never been seated” make the song even better. It sounds like good advice delivered in a calm and soothing manor, and the arrangements and vocal track are great.
Only the fourth track, “Air Hockey,” doesn’t thrill me, and this is the only song that is also co-written with an outside source. It’s a bit faster then the rest of the album, and I just don’t feel like it fits in. It isn’t bad for fun, but I appreciated the other songs a lot more for their honest attitude and outlook. I feel like I can trust that this EP is a natural extension of what singer/songwriter/guitarist Mick Wilson is about. The keyboard and cello additions also add to the sound nicely, although the accents barley make an appearance.
Honestly, I’ve had this CD on rotation since I received it (not because I have to review it), and I’m not expecting a time soon where I will find something better to fill it’s spot. It’s very relative and nothing far and surpasses what every musician is instrumentally capable of, but the changes, build-ups, and lyrics really feel like home to me. There isn’t a level of immaturity when I say youthful, its just an acceptance, and an adult outlook that things are hard even if they are the same troubles we’ve been kicking around since our teen years. If I could suggest something to the label and the band it would be to stick with the melodic style of “Miranda Boy” and “Dance for You,” and I look forward very much to hearing more from Soap Star Joe.