Minor Rockstar – Wasted (EP)

 Posted by on September 9, 2023 at 19:53  Add comments
Sep 092023

Landon Cripe showed a talent for music at a young age. From age 9 to 14, he trained in classical piano winning a prestigious Bach Festival competition at the age of 12. But his axe changed to guitar after watching Marty McFly play guitar in “Back to the Future.” After a rough time in his teens, music was put on hold. After 15 years of heavy drug and alcohol abuse, Landon was admitted into a rehab facility in 2012 to begin the healing process. In 2015, Landon took to the studio to record a song on his own which garnered the attention of Ronnie Winter (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus) when he played the song for him in a chance meeting. Shortly thereafter Minor Rockstar was formed with Landon as the frontman.

I had a hard time piecing together the discography, in particular the years for the releases. Their first release was apparently a three song EP with the delicious title of “You Had Me At Bacon.” Spotify has this as a 2022 release with more songs than three including “Narcoleptic” which is on this release. I get the feeling that their discography is a sprinkling of singles and short releases which may have gotten patched together over time.

The album starts off with the song “Wasted” which has a strong alternative 90’s rock feel similar to Stone Temple Pilots or Pearl Jam. Clean guitars and bass with drums open with an unsettling chord progression. The lyrics bemoan living life wasted and how it is holding him back. The chorus has heavy guitars come through and intensify the singing then fade back into the clean guitar riff. It is delightfully simple.

The next song, “When I First Met You” has less of a 90s alt rock feel and exudes a surfer vibe with Landon’s vocal delivery like a distant offspring of the Beach Boys with a touch of punk. The lyrics are a narrative on how he met a girl. “I Need To Love You” is an upbeat punk-style love song with its major tonality and whimsical lyrics about loving a girl, probably who he met in the preceding song.

“Bummin Smokes” is a laid back stoner-rock inspired tune that talks about how in the throes of smoking there was no love for either himself or his buddy who he is bumming smokes off of. The last song, “Narcoleptic,” is probably the deepest lyrically where Landon sings through his redemption in God and turning his life around. Musically it is more in the punk realm and feels more somber than the other tunes.

Musically, this album is pretty solid. Landon plays all instruments well and writes some diverse material for a five song EP. I particularly like the lead guitar work that is simply melodic making the entire presentation accessible and far from being pretentious (like some metal acts). His voice took some getting used to, but it sounded like a laid-back surfer dude doing punk. I kinda dig it now.

Lyrics were more story-telling. Given his journey, I see the stories as the manifestation of that redemption, that God has redeemed his life seeing both the good he is embracing and the evils of what he left behind. Maybe that is too deep. Maybe these were just the lyrics he wanted to sing.

All in all, this is a fun EP with some good tunes. This isn’t ground-breaking in musical development but good honest punk/alt rock about life. The EP is only $4 on Bandcamp which I think is pretty good pricing to pick up and mix in with your digital library.

Rating: 8.0/10

Written by Sean Bailey

1 – Wasted
2 – When I First Met You
3 – I Need To Love You
4 – Bummin Smokes
5 – Narcoleptic

Minor Rockstar is:
Landon Cripe – all instruments
Ronnie Winter – drums on “When I First Met You” and “I Need To Love You.”

Release Date: July 26, 2023

Record Label: Thumper Punk Records

You Had Me At Bacon (2022?)
Endless (2022)
Wasted (2023)

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Lyric Video: ‘Wasted’

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