Waterloo’s Death Party Playground may not be a new upstart to the scene, since the band has been around since 2012, but the three members have only recently launched themselves into recording with both a single and an EP out this summer.
It’s Bruce Willis fandom worn proudly on the five-track Bruce Willis Jog Playlist #3, a tribute to the steely-eyed days of one man’s rising 80’s persona. Much like their inspiration, the three members of Death Party Playground are going hard on their summer release, a dancing, pumping mix of broken hearts and better nights.
Superhero soft spots are revealed on “Love & Fidelity,” as the chorus chimes on and on with, “Said a word, it sounded like ‘forever’” as the lyrics pour over something that “should be easy.” Keys soar over the bridge, turning garage punk vocals into summer pop.
Kyle Taylor goes heavy on the drums for “Rubber Man,” shaking off the doom and delight of the album’s open, and easing the band back into its southwestern rock groove. Muffled vocals compete with deliberate feedback and crashing intros as the EP feeds the adrenaline junkie title hero with a prolonged scream on “Rose.”
It’s fast but melodic garage rock in the Death Party Playground—a rejected lead with a heart of gold racing for that last minute save as Taylor and bandmates Dylan F. Bravener and Colin White let it all out on the last two tracks. But it’s the lingering promise of a happy ending in “Forever More,” and the mystery of playlists #1 and #2 that give Bruce Willis Jog Playlist #3 something more than a kitschy feel and a real shot of turning this into a franchise.
Top Track: “Love & Fidelity”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)