Inside Five Minutes – S/T EP

Two-and-a-half years ago, Inside Five Minutes released Stately Chaos Home, a 10-song barrage of thick, buzzing guitar grooves and 70s rock bravado that served as one of the better balls-out rock records the Detroit area has been privy to in some time. Since then, however, the band’s been fairly quiet, outside of the release of a split 7″ with the Tight Brothers From Way Back When, which featured what just may be Inside Five Minutes’ best song to date, the bluesy, yet raging “Street Rats.”
Still, a lot happens in two-and-a-half years. Since Inside Five Minutes’ full-length release, the band lost its original bassist as well as its overtly obvious immersion in the blues. Previously, on tracks like “Junkies and Ex-Girlfriends” and the aforementioned “Street Rats,” the band wore its blues influences prominently on it’s sleeve, flashing them like a badge of honor at every opportunity. On this EP, however, it seems like the band’s songwriting has evolved. While there are still underlying hints of blues grooves on these tracks, it seems that the band’s sound has become an amalgamation of something more creative and involved.
That being said, it still seems as if the the band is most impressive when they slow up the pace a bit and let some dirty grooves seep through the mix. This effect is courtesy of the band’s deep, rolling bass sound, as well as the impressive interaction between the band’s rhythm guitars. The various rhythms of “Negativity Got Me Down” best showcase the band’s new direction, as the guitar rhythms flip back and forth between forceful rock and somewhat dissonant (albeit tuneful) blazes, accomplishing both sounds without sacrificing the groove of the song at any point. “Tar in the Mouth” is the track most reminiscient of the band’s previous material, opening with a low bass roll that develops into a slow, winding guitar solo. From there, the track rides a roller coaster of quiet, lulling segments mixed with forceful guitar rhythms.
That’s not to say that the band doesn’t still throw out some strong up-tempo stuff, though. “Warm Blooded” opens the disc with a fast-paced burst of rock, while “Perth-Andover” offers up a powerful three-and-a-half minutes of guitar chug to break up the EP’s slower second half.
It seems odd to use the word ‘nice’ to describe Inside Five Minutes, but that’s certainly one word to use for “At Night” and “Limetree Murder,” both songs that take painfully simple and delicate rhythm guitar parts and turn them into solid songs. Even when the vocals and guitars get louder, the vibe isn’t lost with these tracks. Rather than destroying the atmosphere with a wall of noise (a la Stately Chaos Home), the band just seems to sit back and let the songs ride – a noticeable difference (and a good one at that). Still, though, there are times when it’s nice to hear the band let loose with some guitar action, as teased with a 45 second instrumental bit tacked on to the end of “At Night.”
All in all, this seven-song disc shows a lot of musical growth for Inside Five Minutes. While the band’s original run of more destructive, bluesy material was very well done, this EP makes leaps and bounds of improvement regarding songwriting and musicianship. Recommended.