I’m a fan of the EP. Most of the time, it means more meat/less filler, and it’s a great way for a band to let you get to know them. This year, some established bands used EPs as a way to maintain a presence without releasing a full record. And to great effect. These are my choices for the year’s really groovy EPs.
8. Atmosphere-Leak at Will. A free release by underground rap’s most respected duo, and completely free.
7. Vulture Whale-Bamboo You (Digital Only-No Photo). I picked this band’s debut album as one of the best records of 2009. Then there’s this amazing EP. Vulture Whale are the best new band of 2009, it’s official. Get it for free here. Nuff said.
6. Venice Is Sinking-Okay (review). “Okay” is a tribute song to indie rockers Okay, and it is the first song on the EP, which also features two covers of other songs by Okay. It’s great. Which is what you’d expect from this band of quiet indie rockers, of course.
5. Johnny Polygon-Group Hug EP. Johnny Polygon is the first guy signed to the new label owned by DJ Green Lantern (of Eminem fame)–Invasion Music Group. It starts with Ed McMahon and a sample from an Ice-T song. It’s got a tribute to Sly Stone’s, “There’s a Riot Going On.” Polygon appeared on the Nas tune, “Black President,” one of the best cuts from Untitled. And it’s got some R&B on it–but the good kind, not that horrendous American Idol kind of wailing. And if you’re not interested by now, there’s nothing more I can say to change your mind.
4. Diacon Panthers-Ride Again (review). I’ve been pumping D-P ever since they sent me their self-released debut a few years ago. They’re back here, riding again, with more great D.I.Y. rock. How come more of you aren’t listening? How come a label hasn’t picked these kids up? For shame. Tsk tsk.
Buy it, and name your price, here. Please do it, and drop a comment telling me if you liked it. Sometimes, I wonder if anyone buys anything I write about–if I’m having any kind of positive effect for these bands I love so much . . .
3. The Grynch-Chemistry EP (review). The Grynch has a flow that’s guaranteed to move butts. It’s rare to find an independent rapper with that particular talent. It’s even more rare to find that flow in a dude is from Seattle.
2. Birdmonster-Blood Memory (review). Birdmonster’s debut got tremendous blogbuzz, but since then they haven’t caught the same kind of fire. Too bad. Blood Memory is a great example of how this band can jump from slow to fast, Americana to rock, and back again, sometimes all in the same song. Check it out, support the artist, and, if you ever get the chance, see them live.
1. Blitzen Trapper-Black River Killer (review). The difference between EP and album is but a few songs when it comes to Blitzen Trapper’s collection of dark Americana/folk. It’s a fully realized concept, telling dark tales without being morbid, and an amazingly beautiful experience.