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Small Black - Small Black [EP]

Small Black - Small Black [EP]

Jagjaguwar

Review 1951 Views
Last Edited by: Heron May 19th, 2010.

It seems that the quality of an EP can largely depend on the stage in the creator’s musical voyage in which it is being released. When it represents the artist’s fervent desire to get their music heard (by those who do not frequent Myspace, at least) and is released ahead of a debut album, it often brims with wide-eyed hope and confidence; “these are our songs – you need to hear them”. And the results are therefore often impressive. Passion Pit’s ‘Chunk of Change’, BLK JKS’s ‘Mystery’ and The Joy Formidable’s ‘A Balloon Called Moaning’ are just three relatively recent examples where artists have released extremely impressive statements of intent via debut EP. Once their debut albums were released, it seemed the former two had used up most of their best ideas already – only time will tell how the latter fares. EP’s released at any other stage in that same musical journey are often less consistent and imposing, with albums cast-offs and experimental meanderings abound; a home for the old b-sides now that b-sides are just lazy remixes.

So what of Small Black? Well if you want to know more about Small Black the band then read our ‘New at 10’ feature on them here. With regards to the Small Black the EP, well you will probably be able to see where this review is going when I tell you that Small Black’s self titled EP is also their début release (well this is actually a re-release of last year’s original with a couple of extra tracks). Yep, you guessed it, it’s a fantastic début; one that is so impressive that as much as you look forward to hearing their début full length release, you fear it has too much to live up to. Will they be able to better or even match the wonderful Casio-gazing take on Jesus & The Mary Chain that is ‘Weird Machines’, or the lo-fi euphoria of tracks such as ‘Lady in the Wires’ and ‘Kings of Animals’? What’s most likely is that no matter how far they develop, they will never produce anything more astounding than the paralysis-inducing opening track, ‘Despicable Dogs’. Mere words...

If Small Black do fail to live up to this fantastic early promise when they release their début album, then as mentioned earlier, it wouldn’t be the first time a band has fallen at the second, more demanding hurdle. Sometimes though you just have to enjoy these blissed-out moments for what they are – something far too beautiful to care about what comes next. If it’s something half as good or even nothing at all then we have already had more than we had any right to expect. I doubt any of us deserve anything this good anyway.

Track List:

Despicable Dogs
Weird Machines
Bad Lover
Pleasant Experience
Lady in the Wires
Kings of Animals
Baby Bird Pt.

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