Originally published in Punk Planet May/June 2007
The first track from this LA quintet’s debut might be the most deceiving introduction to a record you’ll hear this year.
Held together with a canned sample of electronic percussion, the album-opening “I Just Need You” revolves around swirling electronics, soaring guitar leads, and studio-scrubbed vocal – precisely the sort of predictable dance-floor pop you’d expect to hear in a club circa 1989.
But the EP that follows that odd salutation feels like’s it’s practically set in a different universe.
The acoustic shuffle of “Your Hazy Mind,” complete with weepy pedal-steel, conjures up Bob Dylan. Singer/guitarist Rus Martin pulls off an almost devastating Jeff Buckley/Jimmy Gnecco-style wail on the addictive rock hooks of “Catatonic Citizens” and the more atmospheric “I Know/You Know.”
The disc closes not with boilerplate pop but with the lonely moan of a piano in the hidden track “Alone at the Hospital.” It’s a truly impressive disc that leaves you waiting for more, if you don’t judge the book by its first chapter.