There are things that an EP is supposed to do, and things many invariably do, making the whole EP concept a source of dread for reviewers. These things are supposed to keep a musician in the spotlight in between proper albums, they’re supposed to hint at new directions without the overt shock of going from country music to goth drone, for instance, and they should make you excited about that upcoming full-length.
What they more often do is disappoint. They offer up a track that will appear on the full length and then tack on a bunch of tunes that didn’t make the cut. Rarely you’ll find gems in the castaways, but usually they’ve been set adrift for a reason. So the underlying question for anyone considering releasing an EP is, if you thought I wouldn’t appreciate these songs for the main course, why are you attempting to feed ‘em to me as a snack? However, in the case of This Town Is Starting To Make Me Angry, a recently released EP from Josh Fix, the buyer need not beware. The whole is better than many recent albums of twice the length.
Musically speaking, Fix is his own man but if we have to play the equivalents game, imagine a one-man band with a voice kind of like Dave Grohl (on the title track), a pop-piano charge like Gavin DeGraw (on“Ghosts in Your Head”,) as well as the modern pop music framework of, dare I say it, one of the better boy bands you could think of (the guiltless guilty pleasure of “Barely Insane”). What you end up with is a mini-album, only five songs long, where each song manages to capture your attention and hold it. Literally, I had it in the Popdose Listening Lab my car stereo for days and I never felt the overwhelming need to skip tracks. Even most of my favorite albums of 2009 thus far haven’t survived the track jump test.
To sweeten the deal, the release is relatively cheap. After all, it’s a short disc, but you may not find a more satisfying collection coming your way this year.
This Town Is Starting To Make Me Angry is available at Amazon.com.