Tuesday, December 30, 2008
myspace :: buy from zunior ($4.44)
A review of the debut EP from Sports: The Band is long overdue. I got my hands on the MP3s almost three months ago, quickly fell in love with the bizarre mix of styles and then had to sit on it (as the band didn’t really want the songs floating around the NET before they knew what they wanted to do with them)... for what seems like forever. Well, finally the time has come and the band decided to offer up the EP on Zunior.
Basically, the songs are as diverse as you’d expect from a band made up of members of The Meligrove Band, By Divine Right and Polmo Polpo. The band refuses stay in the pocket as lead songwriter Nathan Rekker is comfortable and confident enough to absorb the diverse influences each band member brings to the table. They jump effortlessly from surging, swirling synths (Cast Lots) to weightless AM pop (the appropriately titled Fleetwood that features Robin Hatch on backing vocals), lap pop (again, the perfectly named Syntax Error) and even touching on more gloomy, Brit inspired sounds (Warn Me) to give the listen some surprising depth.
This five song EP would have easily made the Best-of 2008 EP list I recently put up, but thankfully it's finally seeing the light of day and as enjoyable as the songs are, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how intrinsic the production - courtesy of Peter Chapman - is to the success of the sound. His deft touch allows the band to experiment with sonic tones textures and combine all of the influences and ideas into crisp packages without restricting the creativity of the band.
As a result, the band is free to sample from the best elements of bygone eras and revamp them them with a modern twist. Whether it's Flaming Lips psychedelics, Nicks/Buckingham harmonies or the crunch of indie rock when it still meant something, Sports: The Band (there are like three other Sports bands, so I think they need to include the semicolon and qualifier) seems to hit on all the right notes and I don't think you will find a better $4.44 worth of music out there right now.