Buffalo-based band Hundred Plus Club (HPC) stays on par with their poppy, story-driven music in their latest three-song EP, Doom and Bloom. The band teamed up with Admirable Traits Records yet again to record this project which joins the ranks alongside a number of excellent singles, EPs like 2016’s For You and 2017’s Everybody’s Friend, and a split with their fellow Buffalonians in Cooler. 

The opening track and lead single “Garden Cruise” dives into the problems of love (in whatever form it may take) – within the first few lines lead singer Zain Shirazi exclaims, “Love makes, Love makes us cry.” He sings with such a cold and calculated pain that if you close your eyes and imagine yourself alone at night, you’d feel like you can run through a brick wall head on. Essentially, that is the picture that the band tends to draw for their fans; being able to encapsulate real life problems in the artistic form of music is what keeps HPC going, and with the open-mindedness of the band’s approach, they open a door for their fans to be let into.

The drums on the project, delivered by Burak Spoth and recorded by Jay Zubricky at GCR studios, are resonant and slappy in a way that inspires a deep inner warmth. Not to mention, the thrilling guitar riffs that sound like something you’d hear on a Smiths record. Keyboardist Zekeriya Spoth adds an incredible amount of depth and atmosphere to the EP, bringing a smart and organic approach to an otherwise electronic instrument. All of the tracks on this project are catchy, jumpy, and more than a little melodic, which is the perfect blend of elements for the band to capture.

With a line like, “I fell maybe too hard” in “Dew Drop,” the band continues their analysis of love in all its different embodiments. “Dew Drop” finds the band reigning in their intensity a bit and channeling new-era Strokes, playing around with a plinking keyboard part while Zain ponders about the intricacies of love. Listen closely and you’ll hear subtle snare rim hits, wood blocks, finger-twisting bass riffs, and even a trumpet solo – it’s clear the band has upped their songwriting approach here and are exploring new avenues for delivering their sound.

With the undermining vocals of the near seven-minute “White Dwarf,” HPC makes their fans feel okay to be alone. Through the chorus of the track, Zain says: “Dance with me, dance with me,” explaining that no matter what problems you’re having or going through, this band will be right there to guide your way through. 

The tracks on the project are sad, happy, and dreamy, but also leave you feeling pumped-up. It’s like when you go to your favorite ice cream shop and order a milkshake with too many flavors… It may sound intense until you try it and then it’s everything you’ve ever wanted. While listening to the opening track “Garden Cruise,” I felt as though someone could punch me in the face and I would feel completely okay with still having a smile. “Nothing can possibly go wrong” is what you’ll tell yourself while listening to this project, enjoying the open-mindedness of the band’s approach while they execute that mantra perfectly. 

The project was released on all platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp) on May 12, 2023. It was mixed and mastered Jonathan Wisniewski and Mike Fridmann and the cover art was created by the band themselves. Now take 14 minutes and 38 seconds out of your day to “calmly rage” with Hundred Plus Club as they take you through a sad but thrilling experience… We recommend starting with the self-produced “Garden Cruise” video via YouTube below.