4 out of 5
Label: Big Top Records
Produced by: Various
About five years, two amazing albums, some singles… and this EP, which is kind of an odds and sods / rarities collection. If The Wicked Farleys had more material to compare against, maybe I’d have more critical things to say about Sustained Interest – cute name, that – but most bands barely manage the less material with the insanely consistent creativity WF showed, so I don’t know that there’s bias going in here when I say that this is another must-own, when the wholly new songs in its 8-ish tracks are limited. Granted, if you lean toward the messier spazz math rock of Sentinel and Enterprise, these tracks are, instead, along the lines of Make It It – with which it shares a track – with poppier, fuzzier melodies that break out instead of Sentinel’s already broken alt-rock that surges into an eventual rhythm. But I think there’s plenty of crossover between the approaches; WF were skronky as heck during their entire existence.
Dig the Ring is the one from Make It It, then you get two new entries: Floor By Floor is a rocker, along the lines of Trying Shoes On; and we have a cover of 96 Tears, which is fun, but limited and repetitive in the way that song always is.
Fitchburg, MA shows up from a 7″: this is similar to Dig The Ring’s juxtaposition of Brodeur’s floaty vocals against rough, breakout moments of distortion.
Elsewise it’s kinda bonus stuff – the “better versions” of tracks are lo-fi basement recordings of previous songs, raw enough that one might consider them demos, so again with the cute naming. Bookends are short noise / samples, unique to this EP.
Worth it for those two new songs? For the glimpses of how well this stuff worked, even on hazy, single-track demos? Look: owning one WF album is an impossibility. You must own them all. It’s worth it.