Maker I-91

Maker have got some killer instincts on their debut EP, I-91. Traversing a landscape littered with bands turned clichés, they're soaring on by, tearing through four songs of emo-laced pop punk with grounded conviction that sells. Similar to early Saves the Day or Lifetime, a harder edge outlines all of the stop-starts, shout-along group melodies, unexpected handclaps and slightly more expected tempo shifts. At times, such as on closer "Stand By Me," you can hear the band toying with more sophisticated structures, a progress that will no doubt occur rapidly and naturally for these guys. Like the best of their genre, these influences are obvious in a broad sense, but Maker's purpose sounds rooted deep here, soaked in the restless young malaise that makes this sound instantly familiar and increasingly timeless. (Either/Or)