"On one hand, there are only so many words that can be written about a 3-song EP that’s less than 7 minutes in length. On the other hand, when the music is this brazen and straightforward, those few words flow quite easily (and it helps that I quite liked this band’s 2011 record, Weather The Storm). The thrust of the Faded EP, the new project from Man The Change, lies in the Brooklyn outfit’s ability to blend the tenets of breakneck pop-punk with second-wave emo so effortlessly. You wouldn’t think that such limited time constraints would provide any real opportunity for sonic exploration, but you’d be wrong (at least in this case).
Calling to mind a heady combination of progenitors like Jawbreaker, Avail, Small Brown Bike, and The Promise Ring, the album leaps out with “Lockjaw vs. Razor Ramon,” a blistering track that features a galloping tempo, big drums, and buzzing guitars. From there, “Rapaport” acts as a tasty transition piece – the first half of the song has a mellow instrumental emo feel before exploding into raw rock, complete with plaintive vocals and a thick rhythm section groove. The album comes to a soaring conclusion with “Ninety Nine,” which is quite the appropriate name, as the tune resembles vintage emo-punk straight out of 1999. The tempo is upbeat and rocking, the guitars smack you in the face, and you can’t help but pump your fist in the air with the rousing energy.
What I dig most about the Faded EP are the great dynamics in the arrangements, which then create strong transitions and flow between the ideas at play. I also enjoy how the lyrics strike a firm balance between the disaffected malaise, pissy ruminations on love, and confidence that things will get better in the future you regularly find in punk music. Suffice to say, I am quite looking forward to the full-length record that Man The Change has scheduled for later in 2012 – quality pop-punk will never die."