Photo Credit: Twitter @simplecreatures
Simple Creatures is a self-proclaimed “trash pop” supergroup based out of Los Angeles, California. The band features Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low. Following an extensive joint tour in 2016, the duo met auspiciously in the studio. As mutual fans of each other’s work, their collaborative efforts produced several viable songs. Officially formed in 2019, Simple Creatures announced their first single, “Drug” and a few months later the Strange Love EP was released on March 29th.
As leading pop-punk frontmen from their own respective bands, Alex and Mark were initially introduced in the early 2000s, creating and fostering a professional bond. Over the years, the two worked on commercial endeavors, yet hadn’t found the impetus to solidify an alt-rock project. Mark, with the intent of recording an album with a group of friends, reached out to Alex, finding the chemistry palpable enough to continue on as a duo, which was how Simples Creatures was formed.
The EP is a mix of intrigue and free impulse. The first hit single, “Drug”, starts off with Alex’s overdriven guitar and familiar punk “nah, nah’s” but with an updated sound, unlike Blink-182 or All Time Low. This release was a fresh avenue to hit the charts and cause a stir. Gaskarth sings, “You got me going ‘round // In circles in my head // The signals that we send”, a knowing tip of the hat to a romance too far flung to be grounded. Alex sings in the bridge, “I can’t tell what’s real and what I’m dreaming anymore // Don’t know how to feel, but I’ve felt this all before.” The disillusion presented is honest. It feels like there is a way out, an optimistic understanding of its own coherence.
The title track, “Strange Love”, features Hoppus’ distinct mellifluous tonality, leading into a poppy chorus with Alex’s voice singing, “Strange love, don’t let the madness change us // All of the good vibrations”. The EP explores a concerted intimation of metaphysics in love. It is refreshing to consider the talent presented by the duo, bringing a unique sound to the alt-pop genre.
“How To Live”, is an ode to the pressures of relationships. The lyrics stating, “I don’t wanna tell you how to live”, create a sense of despondency, yet there is a sense of responsibility inherent in the track. “Adrenaline”, is another hit. Alex sings, “Come and hit me with adrenaline”. The guitar riff is especially catchy and the melody is infectious and elevating. “Ether”, takes on an electronic edge, building momentum between the two singers. The final track, “Lucy”, is a fun pop song and a nice ending to a satisfying EP.
Simple Creatures has a second EP and a debut album in the works, which are both upcoming releases for an eager audience. Drawing inspiration from the likes of The Cure, modern pop, and Nine Inch Nails, the band’s effort to mesh genres and blend aesthetics has led to a supergroup collaboration that should keep fans satisfied and critics reverent.