Short Takes on One Demo and Four EPs

Stephen Durrant – Demos


Brit Stephen Durrant’s three song Demos is an enjoyable listen. The mostly acoustic songs are light and airy – nice singer-songwriter stuff. I’m not sure if I love Stephen’s voice, but many will dig his intimate tunes. Third track “Isolation Angel” feels the most complete of the bunch, with guitar and keys crafting nice layers of more cinematic music. Durrant has a number of songs available for preview on his myspace – check them out if singer-songwriters float your boat.


Reptoids – Slayed EP


I’ve seen hundreds of bands just like Reptoids. I don’t mean that in a negative way – this type of dirty, stripped down metal and hard rock is available straight out of the garage and onto your local dive bar stage any almost any night of the week. If you’re in any way involved in your local scene, you probably have at least half a dozen friends in bands just like this one. You go out and support them every chance you get, and even though most of them will never get more than regional notice, you love them all the same. The three songs here are good bangers, perfect for a night of drinking and sweating out some aggression.


Imperial China – Methods: EP

Means of Production

Opening track “There is No Translation” from D.C. based Imperial China is a blistering slab of post-punk that will leave you guessing. From the time changes to the intermittent bursts of vocals, the song is a winner. The rest of this four track EP is no different. “Radhus” has an electronic undercurrent with some great percussion, while “Sirens” is a fragmented extended jam mashed up against the hazy and peculiar “Space Anthem”. All in all, a fine debut from this trio which features former Pitchblende member Patrick Gough on drums.


Violet Vector & The Lovely Lovelies – s/t EP

Holidays for Quince

If retro psychedelic pop is your thing look no further than Violet Vector & The Lovely Lovelies. The group’s sugary sweet self-titled EP features sing-along female vocals, frenetic keyboards, and even cowbell. With a song called “Candyland” you should have a clear picture of what this disc is about. Fans of cute, slightly raw, danceable retro pop should check this out.


Microtia – Distance is Oval EP

Exigent Records

If a progressive rock and a shoegaze band got together I think Microtia would be the offspring. The group blends lightening fast percussion and broad, sweeping guitar to great affect. I’m not sure I love the vocals, but the singer’s voice at least seems to fit what they are doing. The hard riffs and soft undertow of the bass make for an interesting sound. Definitely a band to keep an eye out for in your local show listings – I have a feeling Microtia is great live.