Sometimes it’s fun to imagine alternate realities for clearly defined entities, historical eras, and so on. Like, I found myself wondering: “What if the music of MUSE was sexier?" "More slithery and reptilian?” “What if The Black Keys were from Gotham City?” “If Artic Monkeys weren’t so spastic and British*?” or the one question that almost woke me up at night more than once: “What if Radiohead weren’t so dreadfully boring?” (A rock and roll antihistamine?) Then I got this EP in the mail. And I went…."oooohhhh…"
This is good. REALLY good. It’s the kind of good that pisses you off, because you know it’s inevitably going to cause you to judge the rest of the albums you acquire against it. And it’s only five tracks. It’s like getting interrupted in the middle of the one-man slap fight: you’re about to send a few thousand little soldiers on a suicide mission, then BAM! Its gets called off, the freeway gets backed up, but the rocket is still ready to launch. Can you say “awwwkwaaaardd?” Ok, that’s probably not how you’ll feel when you listen to this EP. But it is achingly short for the caliber of songs that are on it. “Run To The River”, the lead-off track, is a dark, seductive, bewitching number. If the rock bands on the radio now had any idea of how to actually try and reinject boner I mean bona fied sexuality into the genre, this would be how it’s done. It’s slightly sleazy, but not in that gross, off-putting, Rohypnol-rock perfected by Nickelback and all those other faceless shlock troopers that look like The Crow gets his wannabe-Nikki Sixx look at Walmart (No offense to Walmart shoppers). It’s got genuine allure to it. Not the strip-club filtered approach. “Follow The Ashes” is the catchiest way a misunderstood youth could hope to pine over another to. The chorus literally soars into outer space with your soul. There is an almost “Head Like A Hole”-esque quality to the synth that dutifully marches along before the ascension. Find any tragic love story film or any movie where two individuals struggle against all odds and evil forces to keep their love alive and this song is in the background of the trailer. “Get Free”, the closing track, is THE summer jam. It’s another track on this painfully short release that is perfectly tailored for the moving picture show. It’s for that scene where the heartthrob protagonist is coming into town off the interstate, and has just finished a conversation with whoever is riding shotgun. He leans his head back, in his Wilsons Leather leather jacket and Tom Cruise as Maverick aviator shades and lets out a hearty, so-Cal sun-soaked belly laugh. It’s about this time they stop the car and go to meet their contact and the song abruptly cuts off. I’ll be waiting to say “I told you so” when Sunkist, American Airlines, car company X, T-Mobile, etc. make this song their secret weapon when gearing up for their campaigns during the American travel seasons.
I once described their first EP as “ugly music made by pretty people”. For this one, all I can say is: YOU NEED. NO MORE QUESTIONS!!
*No Actual British citizens were harmed in the construction of this review.