Poster Children – Just Like You

Just Like You EP was released by Poster Children in 1994 via Sire/Reprise records. This 6 track was recorded the same time as Junior Citizen and was put out to supplement their tour  scheduled before the new album’s release. This EP has a good dose of variety in it, hitting several styles that fans will undoubtedly recognize the band’s usual repertoire. From loud propulsive punk, to funk and new wave elements, these are  all distilled in a compact format. After a few listens this EP definitely encompasses the selling points of Poster Children – it has great melodic hooks and a distinctively listenable take on 90’s rock that makes this a perfect jumping off point for new listeners.

At this moment in time Poster Children are still slowly moving from their hardcore roots into their later pop/alt contemporary sound. As such, this EP is significantly louder, leaning towards strong and rebellious themes. For starters, the opening song “Not Like You” is in a tight clash with the closer “Just Like You”. These two ideas pull at each other as the former’s yell of defiance is being challenged by the latter’s admission of their similarity. These statements can be seen as directed towards an authority figure yielding a higher power, but it also could allude to the narrator who says: “I can’t see myself at all staring straight in the mirror”. It has a vagueness and duality that adds a bit of nuance that not all bands can easily achieve.

“Sick of it all” is brash and heavy. Full of jangly riffs, fiery distortion and rumbling drums that are just drenching with animosity. This one is a fan favorite and a concert staple, and there’s no wonder why. “Voight” is a highlight for the rhythm section. Rose Marchack’s grinding bass line sets the stage while Howie Kantoff’s drums are unrelenting, making this the busiest and most energetic track of the EP. The carrier single “What’s Inside The Box” is definitely an odd one, capturing the delirium of 90’s Green Day with Nirvana’s angst. Seeing it’s music video feels like peering into a time capsule. “Uther” is a political song that feels apocalyptic and resolute. A lyrically dense song full of allegory and metaphor that’s a staple for any of Rick Valentin’s works.

Just Like You may be relatively short compared to all other Poster Children’s releases but I’d argue that it feels just as full and complete as the others experience-wise. This one is also a little harder to obtain — being stuck in the Warner vault — but if you have the chance, you should definitely not miss it.

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