Div Kid, a bold and fresh-faced Portland purveyor of chuggety pop punk, has just dropped its latest EP, “Colors,” a five-song romp through capable if sometimes flat fist-pumpers.

The trio (Ty Dron on vocals and guitars, Matt Shardlow on bass and vocals, and Stefen Samuels on drums) hits its stride in the second track, “Tinted.” Samuels swings a lickety-split snare march verse into an anthemic chorus in halftime. Kris Rodgers guests with some nice filler creep-o organ, and Div Kid has coalesced while tumbling forward, a nice style for this heavily crafted style.

The tune has, at times, “Goldfinger” effervescence, which proves the young band is making progress, and is especially promising in a speedy number.

contrast, a would-be single, “Careless Day,” for all its big guitar ambition, sounds like it’s being read from sheet music. The players are too cautious, trying hard to not mess up their parts rather then emotively exploding together through their art.

Truth is, Div Kid does have to be cautious in its early stages — not because of a lack of talent, but because it is playing too close to the line of derivative familiar tropes in its writing. And, because it is a trio, the margin for error is paper-thin.

You know how at jam-band shows in college, the songs are expansive and atmospheric? Huge margin for error — screw up, and it’s what your art meant. Div Kid, in the airtight space of the chosen genre, has to be rehearsing ’til the members’ hands bleed so they become stronger, faster and 100-percent error-free. They do that, and they’ll be chilling with Pete Wentz in no time.

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.


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