Album Review: Hot Mulligan’s "Pilot"

By Drea Eden

Lansing, Michigan based pop-punk band Hot Mulligan has finally released their long awaited debut album Pilot on March 23, 2018. Following the well received 2017 EP release, Opportunities, this album seems to pick up right where they left off.

Pilot starts with a full band version of “Deluxe Capacitor” which was an acoustic track at the end of Opportunities. This revamped version of “Deluxe Capacitor” is energetic pop-punk at its finest. It was a phenomenal choice for the first song as it gets the listener interested and excited to hear what’s next, and leads perfectly into the next track, “All You Wanted by Michelle Branch”

This track was the first single from the album and it’s obvious why. “All You Wanted by Michelle Branch” is a sad-tinged lyrically-driven break up song with some really ear-catching guitar riffs and amazingly done drums.The bridge carries one of the coolest sounding bass riffs I personally have ever heard, and it definitely made me want to pick up my bass and jam along. In comparison it’s more chill than “Deluxe Capacitor” but that's not a bad thing by any means! And yes, it did make my playlist (you’ll understand that dad joke if you listen to the song).

The second single to come from this album “The Soundtrack to Missing a Slam Dunk” continues on with the hard-hitting lyrical content that Hot Mulligan excels at. Similar to bands like Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms, Hot Mulligan knows how to convey a story with their music. It's obvious that there is a lot of  thought put into their lyrics, and honestly I can’t get enough of it! This song in particular reminds me of Knuckle Puck and I really dig that! I feel like the specific style of it really encapsulates pop-punk as a genre, and it’s definitely going to become one of my new anthems.

The next song “Pluto Was Never Really a Planet Either Even” starts off as a slower song, and progresses into their signature fast-paced sound as it going on, but drops back to the slower tempo to deliver the last two lines, in a way that really captures your attention.  It definitely stands out on the album. It’s dynamic and conveys a lot of emotion, and is definitely one of my favorite songs from Pilot.

Another of my favorites is “Wes Dault Can’t Find the Madison Falcon”. I don’t want to be too repetitive but again, the lyrics in this song are very ear-catching and well-written. I was immediately drawn to this song upon hearing the opening lyric “Tried to reconnect because I swore that you would have wanted to, saw your memory click and you smiled the same way morticians do”, and i definitely wasn’t disappointed with the rest following that. This song features aggressive guitar and heavy drums, which personally is something that i really enjoy. The loud and angry-sounding vocals add to the vibe of this song and make it a track that really stands out to me. It really hypes me up!

The most recent single from the album, “How do you Know It’s Not Armadillo Shells?” is a lot different from the rest of the album, in a good way. The chorus is delivered in a fast-paced way that feels inspired by hip-hop. Like a weirdly amazing mix of pop-punk and rap. I was shocked hearing it the first time since it had a distinctly different vibe but i liked it! It was so interesting musically, that I found myself listening to it again and again. It definitely fell more along the side of pop than punk, but that's definitely not a bad thing. I like how they are willing to experiment with their sound and push the boundaries of it.

Overall, the album stays true to what Hot Mulligan is, and carries their signature sound well. Upon listening to this album it became fully obvious that these guys know what they’re doing, and are a force to be reckoned with. I’m very excited to see what comes next for Hot Mulligan.


Hot Mulligan Tour Dates (w/Knuckle Puck, Boston Manor, Free Throw & Jetty Bones):

3/27 - Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep

3/29 - Reno, NV @ Jub Jub’s

3/30 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall

3/31 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater

4/02 - Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl @ Hard Rock Theater

4/03 - Mesa, AZ @ Nile Theater

4/04 - Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad

4/05 - Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill

4/06 - Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street OKC

4/07 - Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom

4/08 - Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe at Old National Centre

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