Gig Seeker Pro


Columbus, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019

Columbus, Ohio, United States
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Rock Punk





Just a month ago, Ohio’s Emo Pop-Punk group Cotter released their debut EP “On Sunset.” the band describes “On Sunset” as a personal EP filled with issues regarding heartbreak, depression, and alcoholism. “On Sunset” receives its name from “how heartbreak occurred and something ended, then Cotter started, and something beautiful came from it. All of this happened on Sunset Drive” vocalist Howard Mesharer shared. The band consists of Howard, Zach Lukkarlia (guitar/vocals), Andrew Brzeckowski (drums), and Ethan Geist (bass). With the EP discussing personal issues, the audience can connect to Cotter and relate to their emotions.

The EP opens with a loud, energetic introduction with the track of “Chicago Handshake.” The vocals of Howard Mesharer ring loudly throughout the track and adds a catchy vibe to it. Towards the end, the blending of Howard and Zach Lukkarlia vocals adds, again, a catchy chorus. The track then transitions to “Clumsy”, an upbeat pop-punk track. Cotter creates a classic pop-punk track with repetitive guitar tunes, nasally vocals, and lovey-dovey lyrics. The track was originally released as a single earlier this year. “Clumsy” is definitely a stand out track in the EP as it displays Cotter’s great talent. The following track “Cigarettes & Razorblades”, which was also released as a single this year, opens with voicemail-like vocals which then transitions into the actual song. The passion behind “Cigarettes & Razorblades” is jaw-dropping with the incorporation of powerful lyrics and heavy vocals. Towards the middle chorus, the rush of loud vocals boom loudly in the track.

The next track “Blackout!” is a tuneful track filled with catchy vocals. Like the previous tracks, “Blackout!” also has an energetic vibe but also incorporates passionate lyrics. The lyrics of “The fighting against myself never quits” speaks loudly in “Blackout!” The guitar tune adds a heavy, subtle ending to the track. The last track of “On Sunset” is “Mind Your Head.” “Mind Your Head” starts with an acoustic guitar which then transitions into a heavier guitar as the track goes on. The vocals of Howard are soft and clear. “Mind Your Head” is a beautiful and peaceful track to end Cotter’s debut EP.

All in all, Cotter did a fantastic job with “On Sunset” by incorporating their own emotions and sound. The group discussed their own issues dealing with depression, heartbreak, and alcoholism in the EP which not only helps to bring awareness to these issues, but also how to cope with it. Cotter used music to show that anyone can overcome and become stronger regardless of your struggles. Cotter’s sound of mixing Emo and Pop-Punk work well together to express their emotions. Cotter spoke from the heart and did an amazing job with their EP. The standout tracks of “On Sunset” is definitely “Clumsy” and “Mind Your Head.” If you haven’t already check out “On Sunset” on Spotify! - Punkaganda Press

"Pop Punk Alive and Well with Cotter’s Debut EP “On Sunset”"

Artist – Cotter
Album / Label – On Sunset / Unsigned
Rating – 7/10

The last few weeks have been the longest year… ever.

Things looked bad, then for a brief moment they looked alright, and then they looked bad again, and it has all been just exhausting. Sometimes you need to stop checking the news for about twenty minutes and just have a little fun. So, allow me to offer you a respite from doom scrolling through your Twitter feed with Columbus’ own Cotter.

Gang, I have to tell you that Pop Punk’s not dead! I though it was, and I will admit I haven’t listened to it in years, but with their debut EP On Sunset, Cotter has reminded me how great it is to hear up-beat, three minute songs about love and breakups and life.

The EP starts off with Chicago Handshake, which is a pretty by-the-numbers Pop Punk song, and sometimes that all you need. There was something so fun about the bouncing guitars, semi-angsty lyrics, and an incredibly singable chorus. It all felt familiar, but not so much that it felt generic. On the bridge, lead singer, Howard Mesharer throws a little bit of grit behind their voice and it’s a sound I wish they had played with a little more. But overall, it’s a fun song and a fun start to the extended play.

The second song and second single from the EP, Clumsy, feels like a song I would have listened to in my car in high school going on, like… a second date with a girl. Hell, they even namecheck ADTR’s biggest ballad, the song that I thought was the greatest song ever written in 2011. I can’t help but get a big grin on my face while I listen to this. There is a euphoria to the song that is infectious, with an earnestness that makes you want to dance, or at least move and nod your head a little bit.

Y’all, Cigarettes & Razorblades has everything. It’s got a voicemail intro, it’s got gang vocals, it’s even got unclean vocals for a second. This song sounds how 7 p.m. at the Warped Tour feels. The lyrics are raw, the story is real, and the message is perfect for the moment we are all in: You’re going to get through this, and you’re going to come out okay on the other side. As probably the “heaviest” song, it is the absolute standout on the EP.

Also, this song has a key change! God, I love a good key change. Everyone, please start putting key changes in your songs again. It’s like an instant shot of energy right in my vein every time I hear one in the wild.

Blackout! does perfectly what a lot of great punk and pop punk songs do so well. It takes a very serious, often melancholy subject, they turn it up to 130 BPM (I have no idea if that beats per minute number is accurate, I’m sorry) and it becomes a song you can mindlessly dance to. On your first listen, it’s a party song. The choruses are punctuated by “BLACKOUT” and it makes you want to get up and dance and drink and just party. Then, once you pay a little more attention to the lyric, you realize it’s a song about addiction; it’s an anti-party song.

Slowing things way down for the last song, Mind Your Head splits vocal duty between Mesharer and guitarist Zach Lukkarila. It’s a well-placed come down from the hard hitting middle of the EP, with relaxing vocals and gentler instruments. It does have the obligatory heavier bridge that is a staple in pop punk ballads, and it drives home the point that Cotter may be using the same structure that many bands before them have used, but they aren’t just copy-and-pasting a Pop Punk album. There is real emotion behind the songs, and there is a uniqueness to the sound that was lacking in the genre for a while.

This album has reminded me how much I love good Pop Punk. As soon as I finished this EP for the first time, I immediately turned on All Time Low’s Nothing Personal and was transported back to 2009. I cannot remember an album from the last few months, at least, that has made me feel this good.

Not all of the songs are happy, and not all of the songs are up-beat, but the vibe of the whole album is just a feeling of positivity. And doesn’t everyone need a little positivity right now?

So, throw on a Fall Out Boy t-shirt, grab your huge Skullcandy headphones, and listen to some solid Pop Punk for a little bit. The news will still be there when you get back.

1. Chicago Handshake
2. Clumsy
3. Cigarettes & Razorblades
4. Blackout!
5. Mind Your Head - Music in Motion - Columbus


On Sunset EP - Released 10/13/2020
1. Chicago Handshake
2. Clumsy
3. Cigarettes & Razorblades
4. Blackout!
5. Mind Your Head

All In My Mind (Acoustic) - Single - Released 11/1/2019



A chilly December evening, Columbus, Ohio: several people loiter outside a local venue, smoking and chatting, bundled in dark hoodies and jeans. Inside, amps can be heard buzzing to life, and glasses clink over excited shouts and greetings. Old friends rush across the open floor in Chuck Taylors while the band sound checks – and all at once everyone feels the nostalgic vibrations and heartwarming glow of an emo-revival.

Cotter, who's namesake was taken to honor a dear friend who lost their battle with depression, began as an acoustic duo in the Summer of 2019; after five years of musical collaboration between founders Howard Mesharer and Zach Lukkarila. After Halloween, they teamed up with Kyle Spears (guitar), Andrew Brzeczkowski (drums), and Ethan Geist (bass) to round out the full band lineup. By the end of the year they were playing their very first show to a crowd of 200. Cotter tackles the spectrum of human emotion - abuse, love, anger, and happiness. Their catchy and personal lyrics range from first dates to struggles with mental health, pulling at their fans’ heartstrings only the way beloved classic emo tunes can.

In these dark times of 2020, we all truly need a little love in the time of Cotter. Derailed by COVID-19, but never discouraged, they recorded their first EP in the unusual Spring and Summer of 2020. Like much of the world they spent time reflecting on their roots and what makes them unique as artists; pouring all this stirred, yet unavoidably static emotion, into their music.

Their first studio release will be available across several platforms in October 2020.

If you still flip your hair to classic songs by Yellowcard, A Day to Remember, and Mayday Parade, give your ear holes a treat and add Cotter to your playlist. You won’t regret it.

Be sure to catch us on social media and all major streaming platforms, and stay tuned for new releases and, eventually, more shows!

Band Members