Given that they’ve been taken under the wings of Bowling For Soup and Simple Plan, it’s not hard to glean what you’re in for with The Bottom Line. The fact that a previous release of theirs was called ‘Another Pop-Punk EP’ is even more telling. Put the two pieces together and you’ve got ‘I Still Hate You, an EP that’s not dreadful but has a very definite cap on its longevity factor.
That’s because, if you’ve hard pop-punk in any capacity, you’ll have heard what The Bottom Line are all about already. They tend to err on the brighter, more summery side of things, and while they’re not as saccharine or overmixed as some of the bigger players (looking at you, Good Charlotte), there’s still an over-familiarity that’s hard to shake off. The title track is a dead ringer for All Time Low’s ‘Stella’, and ‘A Little Much’ could be virtually any Bowling For Soup song, content and all.
At least they know the value of a good melody – there’s a clear penchant for penning a good chorus across the board here, and the more aggressive, ragged opener ‘Pull Me Out’ is easily the best song on this EP. But again, we’ve heard this before, even more so when they’re cribbing from other artists, and probably for the worst in the obligatory ‘heartfelt’ acoustic track ‘When I Come Around’ that shows The Bottom Line as clearly entrenched in the clichéd pop-punk quagmire.
Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt though – there’s time to improve, and as far as this sort of thing goes, it’s far from the worst. ‘I Still Hate You’ is far from the definitive release of this scene, but there are at least shreds of quality here. It puts The Bottom Line in a better place than some other bands, at least.
‘I Still Hate You’ EP by The Bottom Line is out now.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)