Mac Demarco’s ‘5 Easy Hot Dogs’: A body of work about a road trip gone wrong

12 February 2023 / by Owen Kropp
5 easy hot dogs album cover
Album reviews
Released: January 20, 2023
Label: Royal Mountain Records
Domi / JD Beck / King Krule

Edmonton-based artist Mac Demarco is back with his latest EP titled ‘5 Easy Hot Dogs.’

Spanning 14 tracks it runs for a brief 35 minutes and has no features.

To start, this album is completely instrumental and lacks the variation needed to capture listeners.

Acoustic guitar, bass, and synths take center stage for most of it and tracks tend to blend together.

Providing some context on the album, Demarco explained that he embarked on a road trip from Los Angeles to Utah and vowed to “not return to Los Angeles until [he] had a record.”

Thus, each song is named and corresponds to a particular city that he stopped at during this trip.

It’s certainly a unique idea however that’s really where the positives end.

This album does an amazing job of conveying all the worst parts of being on a road trip away from home.

It is dismal, dreary and endlessly monotonous. It’s almost as if Demarco’s intention is to impose a sense of bleakness on any listeners willing to listen through the whole thing.

It’s hard to find a good thing to say about it really. Most songs are played in strange keys with little to no progression or tension to them. 

With the most variety and progression of any track, “Vancouver” would be the track that stood out the most. Yet, the other tracks set such a low standard that simply a track standing out isn’t enough to call it a hit record.

The lack of lyrics doesn’t take away from the album, but the instrumentals certainly don’t compensate for it.

Overall, even for die-hard Demarco fans, this project is best swept under the rug and moved on from.