Originally published in Punk Planet July/August 2006
Bands stretching the conventional limits and commercial assumptions of “rock” offer up somewhat more bite-size fare on a four-song, limited-run comp that packs a wallop despite the limitations of its running time. So what lessons can be learned in 12 minutes carved into orange vinyl?
The Ex toys with building and releasing tension in the crunching punk refrains of “Giant” while Voodoo Muzak goes more subdued, offering listeners the slinking, Tortoise-tinged progressions of “Ibanen Dako.” Sleepytime Gorilla Museum condenses its usually epic prog-theatrics into the four-minute-long “S.P.Q.R,” though the quintet doesn’t hesitate to flesh out and layer its pressurized descents with pummeling percussion and throbbing bass lines. But, it’s Chicago’s Cheer-Accident that steals the show here with the bittersweet (and far too short) “The Stars.”
On the track, whose lyrics were penned by seventh-grader Stephanie Lynn Howell, Thymme Jones’ piano balladeering wraps itself around occasional guitar lines and warped tape interjections, a marriage of the emotive and the experimental that could serve as this short record’s thesis.