Short Takes on Five Releases

The Montauk Project – Trees Against Skies EP


This young, Illinois based three piece released their debut EP over the summer of 2007. Of the fours songs, one is instrumental and the others have vocals. Each song is fairly long and gives of the sense of wanting to be straightforward rock sometimes, more math-rock technical other times. I say stick with the more mathy influences and keep playing, recording, and working hard. This young band just needs more experience to propel it forward.


Brass – Set & Drift EP


Modern rock or math core? The guys in Brass are from my neck of the woods and you know how I love supporting hometown bands. The chops here are pretty tight and this group are no newbies, but I’m not sure the melodramatic vocals are my cup of tea. All the Philly hipster kids probably love this – and all the hipster kids elsewhere should too.


Angel Eyes – …And For a Roof a Sky Full of Stars EP

Underground Communique

If long, most instrumentals post-rock pieces are your thing then Angel Eyes should be right up your alley. Taking cues from old western soundtracks, the two tracks here (titled “One” and “Two”) are intense and sweeping, with bits of tortured vocals. The two songs on this EP clock in at just under 30 minutes combined. A great burst of interesting post-rock!


The Dig – Good Luck and Games EP


Does 60’s style rock and pop ever get old? New York City based The Dig have the style down pat, and the songs on this EP have enough influences drawn from other places (more 70’s style swagger) to keep it interesting. There’s nothing new going on here, but The Dig is good and fans of great power-pop should take note.


Essex Chanel – Dancing at Weddings


Travis Lee Wiggins’ Essex Chanel and its new release, Dancing at Weddings has some really innovative packaging. The CD comes in the form of an actual wedding-style invitation, complete with a program and response card. Very cute. The music here is unconventional – quirky even – and meshes indie rock with danceable electronica. Think lots of loops and blips over somewhat deconstructed guitar and drums. I’ve never been to a wedding with a band or DJ playing anything like this, but Essex Chanel might just get me on the dance floor.