Short Takes on Four EPs

SuperfortressCandy Apple II EP

Superfortress reminds me of various electro-pop and rock outfits such as David Bowie or Human League. The New York based group, led by Japanese musician Nao, could easily have fit on the shelves with any of the 1980’s best synth pop-rock cassettes (and early CDs). Songs like “Missing People” and “Ghost Town” are superbly executed and fun. If retro is your thing and you pine away for the days of big hair and neon clothes, then Superfortress is right up your alley.

Redcastself-titled EP

Another retro EP, this time a throwback to 60’s style pop. This young trio of brothers from Portland, Oregon deliver rosy cheeked, scrubbed clean pop songs complete with bouncy organ, guitar, and bass. The group’s songs are sweet and safe – think The Monkees. The Brock brothers should prove favorites with the tween crowd, and those older folks who like music to be all sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows.

Gregg PorterFinal Final EP
Broken Sparrow Records

Though Gregg Porter may not be a household name, he has played drums for a variety of bands including The Hotel Alexis and Tigersaw. The Boston based musician tends to vocals, guitar, banjo, piano, and bass drum on his solo release Final Final. The style is a blend of, folk, and general Americana. The six songs here are quiet and deliberate – with little to shock or jar your ears or mind. These delicate, mellow tunes should be a nice backdrop for lazy afternoons and long drives. A special nod to the nice handmade package with a lino cut of a deer head on the front!

The Travelling BandThe Redemption of Mr. Tom EP

UK based the Travelling Band offer up some decent psychadelic pop and folk on their four song EP The Redemption of Mr. Tom. Though this style normally isn’t a personal favorite, “Desolate Icicle” definitely got me singing along and “Barmaid” is a toe-tapper for sure. The group maintains a good sound without coming off too sugary sweet or too strange for the masses. The Travelling Band is one to be on the lookout for sure, and a full-length debut is due this summer.