The Brixton Riot – Sudden Fiction EP

The Brixton Riot
Sudden Fiction EP

New Jersey’s The Brixton Riot make no bones about “looking toward the Clash’s ‘Guns of Brixton’ for inspiration”, but the quartet’s music is about as far removed from its forefathers as any “inspiration” could possibly be. It’s easy to assume that a young Jersey band is no comparison to The Clash, but it’s not clear where the group feels there’s a connection other than borrowing their name from a song title. And I get the feeling it was more of a “hey,that’d make a cool band name man” type thought pattern than having any serious relationship to the actual event, or political ideology.

The pop-punk on the Sudden Fiction EP is far to sweet and watered down to be taken very seriously. I bet these guys do well at beach bars. The music isn’t horrible by any means – the band members sound fairly tight and pull little influences in from various styles – but the overall affect of the five songs here is underwhelming. I’m not a huge pop-anything fan, but the stuff I do enjoy has all of the trappings of a great pop song.

Disc opener “Battle of the Band” is the absolute best track on this EP, and that is simply because it has the best hook. It’s the catchiest tune, and for a pop song to be good it doesn’t matter how much more substance there is. Unfortunately, I’m not sure The Brixton Riot has much more to offer. If the group can lasso the spirit of “Battle of the Band”, ramp it up ten fold, and reach that level of songwriting they could be a killer pop-punk outfit. Or, they could enjoy some local notoriety, maybe spend a few summers running the Jersey shore bar circuit, and retire to other careers.