Featuring the skilled popcraft of Bob Pollard (Guided By Voices), Chris Slusarenko (Guided By Voices), John Moen (The Decemberists) , this four-song offering follows the bands three full-length albums and gives us a new window into what powerful pressure-cooker pop can mean in the modern age.
Taking a page from the Rough Trade catalog, and echoing the sneery bombast of the Fall or mid-period Wire, there's an undercurrent of new wave washing through the catchiness. The stumbling basement/paranoid fantasy world glow of Guided By Voices carries over, as is to be expected from any band Bob Pollard is involved with, but there's something setting these tunes apart from some of the others in the overflowing song suitcases.
While even the most rabid GBV completest would have a hard time sifting through all of the Pollard-related titles that flood out on a regular basis, this EP shines brighter. The songs call to mind the manic energy of earlier Guided By Voices and meld it with an art-rock take on power pop, ending up in a strange place that doesn't give you all the answers the first time around. By the time final track "Aquarian Hovercraft" comes up, mashing "Alien Lanes"-esque song collage with masterfully recorded and constantly shifting instrumentation, one gets the sense of just how hooky, special and legitimately epic these songs are. Best when played loud and on repeat.