New(ish) Music Tuesday: 2 EPs

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Valdosta EP - Mayday Parade (2 1/2 stars)

Another week with nothing especially interesting on the horizon for the writing team here. I toyed with the idea of reviewing Owl City's new album but... I just don't care enough. Basically, from what I've gathered from their free single on iTunes, nothing has changed. Owl City is still a band heralded as "original" even though his music sounds EXACTLY like The Postal Service. I mean, even his voice. I think he may have been cloned from the saliva left behind by Ben Gibbard on the studio microphone after he recorded his lone synth-album. So, for this week, I decided to instead review two EPs I bought earlier in the year but never reviewed. They're from 2011, so that makes them new enough!

The first is Valdosta, an EP from Mayday Parade released back in March. Valdosta is six songs, three new and three acoustic mixes of previous songs. I'd be angry at having to pay for only three new songs, but the EP is only $3.99 so why not, right? That, and I have to admit: I've always been a sucker for the acoustic guitar. I don't want to clutter the page with embedded videos, but here's a link to the acoustic version of the song of theirs I featured this past Friday! They do sound a bit different live, I'll admit, and you can get that from this recording. Of their new songs on the EP? Well, I'll quote what my brother said in response to the song I embedded below: "Yeah, that was a good song. Do you have a bottle of sleeping pills? I think I'm going to take the bottle and go lay in the tub for a while..." I guess the final verdict is that, while I like Mayday Parade (as my last FPS made clear), this is still an EP that is mostly different versions of older songs, most of which aren't better acoustic, that only has one really good new song on it. Terrible Things is a great song, though it is depressing, but it demonstrates that the band is growing up a bit in their storytelling, and sometimes you have to give credit to that kind of improvement. But in all honesty, I would only recommend you get that one song as a single and leave the rest of the EP.

The second EP on the agenda today is the Weightless EP, from another band I featured this last Friday, Secondhand Serenade. Now, again, I'm a tad biased in this case. One-man band John Vasley actually let his Facebook fans decide what cover they wanted him to do, so this EP contains that fan-requested cover. Interestingly enough, that cover is of another song I featured Friday: Animal by Neon Trees. Small world, eh? So this EP is five songs, one of which is a fan requested cover done in Vasley's trademark piano/acoustic guitar driven way. That cover is linked here, for those of you who are interested. I suppose when you get down to it Weightless is exactly what you'd come to expect from Vasley's one man band; moving, melodic music backed by his impressive vocals. And that's a good thing. I'm certainly not going to fault him for following up his first labeled album, Hear Me Now, with an EP expanding on his skill set. Besides, you have to respect artists who record everything for their albums themselves. Bottom line: If you like or are familiar with Secondhand Serenade, the Weightless EP will deliver everything you've come to expect from Mr. Vasley, with an added fan request cover. I'm also giving him a bonus half a star for recording everything, including the different vocals, himself.

And now, videos for your listening pleasure.

Terrible Things - Mayday Parade

Never Too Late - Secondhand Serenade

1 comment :

  1. Snoooort! That first paragraph was hysterical!


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