5 Great EP’s You May Not Have Heard

17 Dec

He certainly doesThe big music publications  have now ended their squabbles over whether to put Merriweather Post Pavillion or Veckatimest as album of the year. Personally, I will include neither as they violate my clause of inclusion for top-10 status, in that a top-10 album must be of consistently high quality over the course of the album and no single, no matter how catchy, can compensate for an otherwise uninteresting album (why hello there, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix).  I’m still not set on the order so the album list will have to wait until next week, but during the meanwhile I’ve compiled a short list of that oft-neglected musical form- the EP. 

In the interest of transparency the first three bands contain friends of mine, but I am including them here because of the quality of their work.

1. The Priory Dolls – Heaven Is A Dirty Place

In the last few weeks I’ve read several articles bemoaning the death of rock and roll, screeds most likely composed by bitter and withered men whose hands tremble with longing to clap  along to their favourite song and remember what it was like to be alive again. If you enjoy the simple pleasures of fast guitars, catchy riffs and a beat you can dance to (or at least have a good sway) then The Priory Dolls are your sort of band.

http://www.myspace.com/thepriorydolls

2.The Good China-  Old Maps/New Roads

Remember fun? That thing where you smile? The Good China are something of an oddity as whenever they play a gig they all seem to be having a really good time.  It might be an elaborate marketing trick, but that’s pretty unlikely. China are an 8 piece with at least three instruments per person which are routinely swapped around between songs,which makes their lives  shows seem like a gathering of friends that happens to be on stage. They also wrote a song based entirely on Super Mario Bros. 3, which in my book earns you infinite points.

http://www.myspace.com/thegoodchinaband

3.Charles Baby- The Universe is an Opponent

For the last decade or so the Australian music industry has instituted a policy of keeping 3-5 ‘singer-songwriters’ around who’ve all got an acoustic guitar, wistful good looks and absolutely nothing of interest to say (hello, Josh Pyke).  Charles Baby’s problem (if you can call it a problem) is that he’s so wholly and entirely better than that pack of floppy-haired losers that one is lead to wonder if he was cursed never to be horribly wealthy and famous as he so rightly deserves. Consider it a mystery on the level of why Kasey Chambers is allowed to live. Charles Baby is primarily a guitar and harmonica kind of guy, although he’s made a few successful forays into a 4 piece band on his most recent tour for the above EP. He writes songs about the sort of thing most songs are about- love, death and identity- but with the kind of vigorous  enthusiasm found only in people who truly give a shit. Audience favourite Panic deserves particular mention as a cutting exploration of the shit we do in order to look normal.

http://www.myspace.com/charlesbabyband

4. The Mountain Goats/John Vanderslice- Moon Colony Bloodbath

Being a Mountain Goats fan can sometimes feel like a hobby all to itself- John Darnielle just released album 17 and there’s dozens of EP’s, singles, unreleased tracks and compilations out there all with their own rewards- so you can be forgiven for missing a few here and there. Moon Colony Bloodbath is a 7 track collaboration and concept album documenting the terrible happenings at an organ farm on the moon. It also happens to feature some of Darnielle’s best songwriting since The Sunset Tree. Some googling should find it.

5.Destroyer- Bay of Pigs

Described as ‘ambient disco,’ this bafflingly appropriate title encapsulates much of the two track, vinyl only EP which is literally about the famous military conflict around the Bay of Pigs. Dan Bejar’s otherworldly voice croons over some of the weirdest sounds you’ll hear this year. If you don’t own a record player Google-fu should find you a copy.

Bonus Track. 6. Moonface

I haven’t heard it yet but since I love practically everything Spencer Krug does I’m sure it’ll at least be an interesting experiment.

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