Iretsu – Name our Numbers, Numbers EP

Name our Numbers, Numbers EP

Like its name, Iretsu’s music is complex and hard to define. It is a Portland-based band that sounds as if it has been making music for 10+ years. The group’s melodies are refined, the songs are bursting at the seams with ideas, the craftsmanship is impressive and most importantly, their combined offerings are outstanding. Name our Numbers, Numbers is evidence of an accomplished band and this EP is everyone’s chance to jump on before the bandwagon is gassed, cleaned and speeding down the Indie superhighway.

The songs on this rewarding EP are each distinctly dissimilar, if not conspicuously startling. They offer so many twists and turns that the way the band blends and fuses everything is remarkable.

Things start off with an infectious rhythm that will keep your foot tapping for the entire song on “Frenetic.” The band sings catchy “ooh, la, la, loo”s and the music is prosperous, gripping and memorable. Before dying down, the band takes a sharp right-hand turn in the middle of the song as they scale back the “frenetic-ness.” Highlighted by acoustic guitars, water drops and soothing — almost cooing — vocals, it leads into one of the best progressions and in turn, musical climaxes of the year. The electric guitar slices its way through, the vocals grow into a chant-like pace, and the drum breakdown and keyboard miasma make up one astounding song. It all concludes with the band singing in four-part harmony and though all of these changes are fitting of the song’s title, they are cohesively conducive.

The most direct song on the EP is the lead single, the title track, because of its straight-ahead approach. The music is reminiscent of fellow psych poppers Of Montreal and the vocals recall a chaotic Kevin Barnes in his most frenzied state. It’s in your face, provocative and immediately appealing. While things carry on this way for the first half, the song ends with comforting vocals that are brilliantly juxtaposed with striking guitar chords and drum strikes.

The closer, “Six Bump Hillbilly Song,” opens with a playful melody that is lead by some well-timed bells; guitars and an expansive string section appear, creating a tremendous instrumental song. Reflective and gentle chords strum the music with a heartwarming touch and the drums and guitar re-appear in a manner that only compliment the aforementioned strings. As instruments are added, the music follows suit, getting louder and louder before the waves subside. Driven by a singular guitar melody, pizzicato strings and a throbbing bass are arranged in such a vibrant approach that you simply couldn’t have asked for a better ending.

The fact that a three-song EP could be filled with so many splendid ideas is admirable. The press release illustrates it best when it states, “descriptors which seem to fit suddenly become redundant moments later.” And everything that whizzes by and slaps you in the face is utterly delectable. Here’s to hoping that Iretsu presents us with a full-length album soon, because with Name our Numbers, Numbers the group has left us with a starving crave for more.