Hence My Optimism EP

While Ft. Collins, Colorado, punk outfit Elway remain pretty indebted to the best of modern punk, their new EP, Hence My Optimism, is a little less one-dimensional than their 2011 full-length, Delusions. A more varied menagerie of present-day punk, this could be a brief mixtape made by your best Orgcore-loving friend. Playful, Dead To Me-esque riffs are sprinkled into the opening ode to their home state, the hook-laden "Dear Colorado," while the weary "25 Years" would nestle in cleanly between Alkaline Trio (its darker first verse) and a Chris-McCaughan-fronted version of the Lawrence Arms (a frequent comparison on Delusions). "Note To Self" carries a rare note of urgency in its step, and despite the familiar emotional pangs of closer "Take Me, Stabler" (think TLA's high-water mark, The Greatest Story Ever Told), its brushes of restraint show the band's potential to develop something truly brilliant of their own in the near future. It's good to hear Elway start to crack the mold they had already filled well enough with Delusions.

Red Scare http://www.redscare.net

"Dear Colorado"