Cincinnati pop-punk group Mixtapes
put a photo of a wooden cutout of an oversize soft-serve cone on the cover of their 2013 sophomore album, Ordinary Silence
(No Sleep), and like ice cream when you’ve had one bite too many, their clean, sugary tunes can sometimes seem queasily saccharine. Compared to the band’s earlier releases, Ordinary Silence
subdues the diabetes-inducing sweetness, allowing the life-affirming pop songwriting to flourish. Sometimes Mixtapes even get little rough, or at least as rough as a band this twee can be—the boy-girl vocal harmonies on “Elevator Days”
are open-hearted and earnest, like usual, but also a bit scuffed up. —Leor Galil Mustard Plug headlines; Mixtapes, Dan Vapid & the Cheats, the Pinstripes, and Still Alive open.