Edsel – Extended Play

2 out of 5

Label: Dischord

Produced by: Andy Wilkinson & Edsel

If you read the retroactive take on Edsel’s Extended Play on their bandcamp, it tells the story of some struggle: arranging disparate elements and motivations and finding a new feeling as a band with lessened financial abilities and label support. The EP definitely has a sense of experimentation to it, resulting from that grind, but it’s also pretty slim on impact. Opener ‘Perched Like a Parasite’ is a quality rocker, doing what Edsel did well whilst on the fringes of the DC hardcore scene: tempering a fidgety, punky mindset with a sense of pop and rhythm. It’s an instant head-bobber. ‘Bela’s Device’ – an outro to this track – feels unfocused, though; it’s not clear why the track needed an outro, and the track itself doesn’t offer much further evidence except letting a riff play out for a couple minutes. ‘Shake Out Your Shirt’ is another good track, but it lacks some oomph, falling back on an admittedly grooving bass beat to carry it. It’s the kind of song that would work really well as a counterpoint between louder, more direct stuff on an album, but on a short EP, it doesn’t make enough of a mark. 11-minute closer ‘Thinner Than Thin’ is the “let’s try something different!” moment when the gang brings in some new electronic equipment and decides to have an extended jam session. Again, buffered by other songs, this could work; here it feels mostly aimless, though it definitely has some interesting bits and pieces jammed in there, and its initial drone-y vibe – before the electronics come in – is quality.