Sound — 8
This is only an EP, but the Foxboro Hot Tubs' EP sounds like a mainstream Iggy and The Stooges, which is not necessarily a positive comment. A raw yet polished guitar tone takes center stage on Stop Drop and Roll, with a couple of rock 'n' roll guitar solos to satisfy those of you who want that classy mid driven Chuck Berry sound. What this EP manages is to sound incredibly live, perhaps managed by the well-produced bass and drums, which thump away, with an extremely potent guitar tone crunching in stereo. Paramount to the rawness of this recording is the fact that the guitar is louder on the right than on the left; I don't know why, but this just gives the listener a more 'panoramic' listening experience and not a static, narrow base. The guitarist, who many believe to be Billie Joe Armstrong from that obscure band, Green Day, proves he's not unaware of how to branch out a little and play some more intriguing rhythms, incorporating staccato and aggressive barres strums. The prime example of aggression on this EP is the opening track, Stop, Drop and Roll, which is coincidentally the name of this EP. Then there is Red Tide, a track with a flexible gymnast of a rhythm, reminiscent of '60s surf and chill out songs for the summer. Overall, a great balance of songs is present here and, despite each song sounding a little similar, it is splendid to hear a side project that sounds like the band is having fun (just listen to Mother Mary's backing vocals). Despite this EP's more poppy take on the boogie on She's Not a Saint She's a Celebrity, the rock 'n' roll slides and licks are very much for those of us who like to 'Boogie to Berry'.
Lyrics — 7
Much is made of the backing vocals on this EP, and that serves the garage rock 'n' roll theme extremely well. This is of course Billie Joe Armstrong's unmistakable set of pipes, but he also gives a few Iggy Pop-esque screams on a couple of the tracks, though not with the same ferocity as the great man himself on the classic Search and Destroy. There is very little to say here except that no listener should be discouraged from overlooking this EP because of the Green Day connection. There is every chance that you'll find yourself tapping your foot to the rock 'n' roll shuffles and providing some extra screams to help Billie along.
Overall Impression — 7
This stuff gets the listener up off the sofa and doing the pelvic thrust, particularly on Highway 1. Assuming this is Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day fans should be glad to hear the front man actually sounding inspired. Moreover, he has recorded a project that sounds like it could appeal to those people who hate that main project of his. Some listeners may have wanted to hear more boogie shuffles and (even) more deranged less radio friendly vocals to match the unruly guitar tone. That is of course being pernickety and one should just sit back, or rather dance to this nostalgic effort. Despite its lack of innovation, Billie Joe's voice adds that modern appeal to what can only be related to garage rock and '60s rock 'n' roll. Further exemplifying the retro sound was the presentation of the EP on the Foxboro Hot Tubs' website which presented the EP by halving the songs into two sides: Side A and Side B, typical of vinyl releases in the '60s. Whether or not this is a hint at Green Day's next album, the listener should enjoy it for the fun rock 'n' roll it is, although some may have preferred to hear something more serious vocally. However, one could question why it's availability for free download on the Foxboro Hot Tubs' website has been replaced by a rather infuriating clock.