Pop punk, with its serrated guitar hooks, sunny melodies and periodic gang vocals, has a strong presence in the Pittsburgh area -- groups like Punchline, The Berlin Project, Transition, and more recently, Chalk Dinosaur. One of the newest groups to tap that legacy is Mace Ballard. Last fall, the band released its five-song debut, Can't Build Something with Monologues. "We're not messing around this time / This is not a test," sings vocalist and guitarist Chris Daley on the opening track.
That Mace Ballard is a new band is also suggested by the fact that, apart from Daley (formerly of Kid Durango), it can be a little tricky figuring out who is (still) in the band. Dan Maldonado, for example, is the bass player on the band's MySpace page and has a thank-you section in the EP's liner notes ... yet the bass playing is all credited to two other musicians. Several tracks also feature guitar by Justin Portis (Portis Project, among others), presumably as a guest. While you ponder such lineup-change mysteries, check out this free download of "Go Means Go."