Fans of X Ambassadors and Imagine Dragons might be drawn to this catchy EP from Texas band The Unlikely Candidates. Bed of Liars, out now, is a high-powered mix of radio rock and alternative sounds. With their first EP since 2013’s Follow My Feet, The Unlikely Candidates could be starting their transition from small-time Fort Worth rockers to unlikely stars.
Bed of Liars shows the band have developed a very confident understanding of what makes strong, popular alternative music. There’s not a song on this EP that couldn’t be circulated into regular airplay, but there’s also not a song on this EP that feels risky. The first track, “Best Things in Life Aren’t Free,” is undeniably intriguing. Potentially, this is the song that could attract a wider fanbase for the five man band. After this song, however, the EP starts to take a turn into uninspired territory.
“Ringer” is much more impressive instrumentally than lyrically. The chorus is cheesy and repetitive, a tired and somewhat patriarchal display of affection by wanting to “put a ring around her finger.” The following track, “Your Love Could Start a War,” pays homage to the band’s Texas roots in a confusing mix of countrified alt-rock. There are some bands that can make that sound work, but even though The Unlikely Candidates are from the south, there’s still something about this song that feels contrived.
Most disappointing on this EP is “Violence.” One listen and you might think you’re hearing an X Ambassadors tribute band. A second listen might uncover a disturbing similarity in melody, percussion and use of reverb to “My Song 5” by Haim. If you would even try a third listen, the lack of lyrical prowess becomes clear – “bang, bang, bang, I’m just running from the violence” sounds more like the work of a high school garage band than of a serious group of adults trying to make a name for themselves in the industry.
Even though Bed of Liars is an artistically safe EP, there’s a chance The Unlikely Candidates are destined for an unlikely bit of success. Preview “Best Things in Life Aren’t Free” below, and find tour information on The Unlikely Candidates’ official site.