Saturday, January 9, 2010

EP Blast! #1

Modest Mouse- No One’s First and You’re Next

    We’ll, I had left these guys for dead before their ship even sank, following the release of Good New For People Who Love Bad News, and just like the title of that album, this EP, and the full-length between then, Modest Mouse seem to have traded the sideways mescaline wisdom and lo-fi roots of their past for one-note wit. “Whale Song” harkens back to their Moon & Antarctica days, but only as an unconvincing imitation. A B-sides collection fit for superfans, and those who enjoyed the last two albums, but without any real standout tracks, it's more of the same.

Thousandaires- s/t

    What a voice! Somewhere between Sparta’s Jim Ward, and Against Me’s Tom Gable. Musically, expect an ‘up the punx’ Bear vs. Shark, without the wonky horns and keyboard interludes. In short, this EP is volatile. They know how to go from playing a shimmery arpeggio to burying their fist in your nose, all with the skill to make you not want to punch back. There isn’t a single low point on here, and the choruses are anthemic without being artificial. These guys will hopefully blow up very soon. Only complaint: there are only three songs on here. We want more.

Kudrow- Lando

    It looks as though Jeff Rossenstock might have to eat his own words. Based on the performance of Kudrow’s first EP, Lando, side projects might yet be successful. Following in the footsteps of BTMI, Kudrow are a low-budget, trashy venture, but rather than the ‘do it in post’ way he filled out tracks for Bomb, Lando remains a stripped-down, no-nonsense affair. The three-piece gives serious nods to lo-fi, Pavement, having fun, and being broke, without even a hint to ska. Rossenstock’s vocals are as impassioned as ever, making this EP a must for fans of BTMI, garage rock, and handclaps.

Piglet- Lava Land

    Oh, you wanted math-rock? Piglet have that covered, in spades. This won’t be your sing-along EP of the century, but Piglet find ways to keep your attention through strictly instrumental means. If you get a hard-on when Maps and Atlases’ upcoming album gets mentioned, bring a change of boxers for Lava Land. Their prowess and synergy here are astonishing. Lots of jazzy drum hits, plenty of complicated guitar taps. This is also the only ‘true’ EP of this list that gives any real attention to tone. When Piglet play, flaxen-haired baby math-rock angels are given an extra set of wings.

Catch 'Em All!

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