Tuesday, January 19, 2010

EP Blast! #2

Thumbnail- s/t EP

[can't find the album art]

    Nine tracks, and thirty-five minutes of music. I have no idea how this doesn’t qualify as a full-length. Either way, this is pretty much what you would expect from a screamo group: noisy and chaotic, with under-produced drums. Thumbnail come strapped to give you a headache, and leave you with an aneurysm. When they’re not making a lot of earth-shattering noise, they slow down the feedback for another build, which makes the whole EP a flatline affair. Lots of the same, but it’s not terribly good or bad. Recommended for fans of Saetia, Mohinder, and other bands of that ilk.

Born Ruffians- s/t EP

    A pretty bare-bones group who follow in the vein of The Pixies. Singer Luke LaLonde has one of those manic voices that is fucking terrible and unforgettable at the same time; guy sounds like he ran a marathon before each track. There are oddly southern qualities to them, despite being from Canada, and “Piecing it Together” strikes a long-forgotten Talking Heads sound (a compliment). Lyrics are relatably unpoetic, and successful for that reason, and “This Sentence Will Ruin/Save Your Life” is catchier than pink-eye in a frat house. Long story short, Born Ruffians are immensely fun, albeit none too inventive.

Engine Down/ Twelve Hour Turn- split EP

    Engine Down are a total anomaly, more a springboard than anything else. They formed out of Sleepytime Trio [great band]. After they broke up, Keeley Davis went on to join Sparta [okay band] and Cornbread Compton moved to Cursive [another great band]. How they didn’t get more recognition is evinced by their six-minute submission to this split- it’s gorgeous and brutal at once, but clearly appeals to a niche market. Damn shame. Twelve Hour Turn follow a tough act with the surprisingly melodic “Wide Awake”, and the disappointingly similar “Flowers for the Dead”. Thumbnail would kill to be these guys.

O Lucky Man!- When I Was Young I Would Type Your Name Just to See it in Front of Me

    A very mathy duo from Berkeley who make the noise of ten musicians. Zach Hill-style drumming peppers this whole (long-windedly titled) EP, jumping from blast beats to warpspeed jazz so quickly that beats and fills become one. The guitarwork here is similarly busy and difficuly to follow. Because they never settle into any comfortable passages, it ends up sounding more like a good ol’ King Crimson circle jerk. If they could reign themselves in a bit, they might end up somewhere between Make Believe and Maps & Atlases, but they sound too much like they want to prove their chops.

Catch 'Em All! Again!

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