Emergency Broadcast System – S/T EP

Emergency Broadcast System opens with the wordless “A Silent March,” drifting towards the gloom and doom which permeates the dancy sludge-pop that follows. The rest of the album melds into a journey deep into Hell, filled with dance fever – but in a very good way. Each track is only distinguishable from the last while it’s playing, because afterwards you’ll only remember it as pure power, distortion, and an immensely good record, most notably for the fact that it’s a debut EP. (A note on that: it’s really a full album, even with seven tracks, as its ideas and sound flow so fluidly, and its length is about that of an average punk album.)

In a way, the band’s name is oddly fitting. The guitars, from time to time, have the interesting quality of sounding vaguely like sirens. It may be a little far out, but I get the sense that I’m listening to the soundtrack for the evacuation when the world ends. People are dying and screaming, sirens are going off, the black of night surrounds everything, and Emergency Broadcast System’s members are standing in the rubble, ripping their guitars and maybe dancing a little bit. By the ultimate track, “Death From Afar,” the landscape is desolate and the sun is just starting to rise. The guys from EBS are packing away their instruments and walking away, not looking back on the destruction. And if I’m stretching this a bit far, at least it’d make a good music video…

The point is that this is the kind of album that needs to be heard all the way through, appreciated, and focused on. It grabs you from whatever you’re doing and drags you in, beats you up, leaves you exhausted. The drums drive, the guitars wail and moan, the vocals spit and swagger appropriately, and the blood is pulsing from beginning to end. There are no breathers and no ballads because they simply aren’t necessary. This album is a screaming force to be reckoned with, and I only have one complaint: I actually prefer Emergency Broadcast Music, the address of the website, to the name Emergency Broadcast System. Ok – make it two complaints: I want more of this stuff, and there isn’t any yet.