Monday, December 3, 2007

Best-of 2007:: Top Ten EPs

Well, it's the second of our Best-of lists. This one is for the top EPs of the year. Now before you get all in our mush about your favorite EPs not being here, we didn't claim to be the defacto experts. It's simply the ten EPs we liked the most this year.

To add that personal touch, we got people to answer some simple questions about their year. Not everyone got back to us yet, so we will probably update this as more answers trickle in.

10.) Rich Aucoin - Personal Publication - review
"It's one thing to play a ton of instruments on your record, it's quite another to meld all those instruments into a record that's an enjoyable listen. Rich has certainly achieved that. At War With The Cynics (An Opening) is a great title for a pop song, and luckily the song itself lives up to it. A kaleidoscope of percussion (is that a cop-out to avoid id-ing which of the 25 instruments are used? You betcha!), augmented by organs and some electronic vocal effects, really give this ode to optimism an upbeat vibe."
Note:: He also synced this up with the Grinch. C'maaan. You have to like that.

Best moment of '07::
Globally: Aside from the obvious various ceases in fighting and such, it was great to see Patton Oswalt land a major role in Ratatouille.
Personally: Biking Across Canada
Worst moment of '07::
I don't have an answer for this.. anytime I came close, I thought there must have been something worse that I can't remember... and I couldn't think of something funny like the Patton reference.
Resolution for '08::
Become more prolific
Favorite record of '07::
Neon Bible
MP3:: We, The Dishonest, Honestly Swear

9.) Ladyhawk - Fight For Anarchy - review
"It was the first song from an all day recording session, but it doesn't really sum up the rest of the EP. The band is much more experimental on this quick hitter and balance some Okkervil River-esque ballads (and I think I'm one of the only people who didn't hear those similarities on the full length, but the Sheff influence on Boy You Got Another Thing Coming is strong) with static, feedback, grunts, screams and countless other sonic explosions and exploration."
MP3:: War

8.) Plants & Animals - With/Avec - review
"The With/Avec EP is a mix of styles that shouldn't go together so well. Huge booming sound scapes, folky undertones with frequent visits into psychedelic textures, and a gravitation towards jamming. Ambition is great, but often new bands suffer from delusions of grandeur and fail to deliver their vision. A lesser band trying to combine these elements would probably fall flat, but after hearing this EP it's obvious that Plants & Animals has the versatility to dabble in all of those styles."
MP3:: Faerie Dance

7.) Great Bloomers - review
"The Great Bloomers are exactly the type of band I look for these days. This Toronto quintet mesh southern rock with soaring anthems, distortion, harmonies and infectious melodies. Their debut EP is a mere five songs, twenty minutes and it's more immediate than a car crash."

Best moment of '07::
Daniel Johnston @ the Mod Club
Worst moment of '07::
The Passing of Ed Mirvish
Resolution for '08::
Have our full length ready for this upcoming spring!
Favorite record of '07::
5 Favorites, I can't pick one. Panda Bear - Person Pitch, Dirty Projectors - Rise Above, Bill Callahan - Woke on a Whaleheart, Sea and Cake - Everybody, Wilco - Sky, Blue Sky
MP3:: Catching Up

6.) Seawolf - Get to the River Before it Runs Too Low - review
"Musically, the arrangements surprised me. Often, these singer/songwriter projects (which to be fair, this really isn’t – it’s just a band with a rotating cast of characters) force too much into every song, or are so scared of cluttering the mix that the songs feel empty. Alex and his friends have a good grasp on spatial capacity, allowing elements to wander freely, but never intruding on another element of the song."

HH:: That bring up an interesting question. I know for at least some of the EP and full length you had a different cast of musicians working with you than you did on tour. Is it hard to try to transform the sounds of the recorded work to the live stage? Or do you like the subtle differences?
AC:: I like the subtle differences. I mean, the musicians I play with a very tasteful and very good. But I wouldn't want them to translate too directly, as I think it would lose something. In reality, different musicians have different hands and different personalities. I like to see them take the parts they didn't write and make them their own. It makes the songs more dynamic. Plus, I don't think the changes are that different. They are subtle, like most people wouldn't really notice.
MP3:: Ses Monuments - live on Daytrotter

5.) Oweihops - Cinquefoil - review
"So many folk/Americana artists toil in understated riffs and textures to tell their story, but Metivier and his band fully embrace an addictive hook. As a result, you really have to listen to realize that Metivier is a compelling story teller. His voice resonates in a Rocky Votolato tone, and he stays with the standard Americana themes of depression and love, but he tends to contrast his sorrows with a more uptempo, embraceable sound."

Best moment of '07::
Getting engaged
Worst moment of '07::
It's difficult for me to qualify or rank my bad moments
Resolution for '08::
Write more songs, become better at promotion
Favorite album of '07::
I listened to Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga probably more than any other '07 record.
MP3:: This Morning I Drove into a Cloud

4.) Bottle Up & Go - review
"The 5-song EP is only about 15-minutes long, but grabbed my attention quicker than most big indie releases I've listened to in the few months."

HH:: Did you know when you goggle your band name the first result is another blues band from Denmark or something?
K:: I know. As for the goddamn skiffle band from Denmark, your days are fucking numbered, boys. Next time a tour takes us through Denmark we are going to find them and kill them.
MP3:: Take This Hammer

3.) Grand Archives - review
"The sound is rich in layered harmonies and soothing melodies, somehow fitting nicely into the gap between Zach Rogue’s summery, floating melodies, and Band of Horses rawkus, powerful, soaring anthems.
MP3:: Torn Blue Foam Couch

2.) Centro-matic - Operation Motorcide
The best part about this is I completely thought I reviewed this EP months ago. It's ranked 4th on my iTunes Play Count for new records, but as I scanned the 2007 posts, I realized ... oops. Anyway, do I need to say anything more than Will Johnson? Probably not, but this EP is a collection of 8-songs left over from the Fort Recovery sessions. I guess these are like Thanksgiving leftovers, because they fill you up and taste great.
MP3:: Atlanta

1.) Hezekiah Jones - Come to Our Pool Party - review
"Raph Cutrufello has always been able to make a few simple notes sounds like a symphony and his delivery is as warm and comforting as those mittens that are connected by the long string."

Raph:: "EP of the year. Never would have guessed."
Best Moment of '07::
'Folk Music For The End of World' release party in Philadelphia with O'Death, Chris Bathgate, The Spinning Leaves, and Hoots and Hellmouth. I love going early on a good bill like that. Gives me time to drink and enjoy the music.
Worst Moment of '07::
It might have been when my I found out my time-share on the Mississippi Sea was bought up by contractors who plan on turning the whole place into a dog park. I don’t even have a dog! Now I’ll have to vacation east of the sea, and we all know what that means.
Resolution for '08::
Trying to work out the new albums. Got ideas for a full length an EP, and 7in. in the works. also want to do many many more shows the road in '08.
Favorite Record of '07::
Frontier Ruckus-I am The Water You Are Pumping EP. So Good. Can't wait for their full length.
MP3:: Cupcakes for the Army

Posted at 11:46 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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