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Holiday Machine EP

Bottom Of The Hudson
Holiday Machine EP
(Absolutely Kosher)

Bottom Of The Hudson dropped their debut release The Omaha Record a couple years back and caught some people off guard with their lo-fi aesthetic that appealed to fans of Sebadoh and Guided by Voices. The group released Songs From The Barrel Commando earlier this year, and that album was sort of a mixed-bag of tracks (but not quite demos) not quite meant as a proper follow-up for the group (but more as a signpost pointing the direction they were heading).

The Holiday Machine EP is a six pack of tracks from the group meant to more properly lead into their follow-up full length release, which should drop sometime next year. It's another slab of low to medium fidelity tracks that mix delicate moments with crushing blurs of guitars and feedback, and it's another strong batch of tracks from main man Eli Simon. Album-titled "Holiday Machine" opens the release with dense walls of guitars, feedback, organs, and overdriven drums while Simon adds his warm baritone vocals. "Riot Act" follows with soft piano/guitar segments that give way to fuzzy, jangly pop, while "One Of Us" should please those looking for a return to the days of early Pavement.

At about the halfway point, the EP takes a noticible downturn in terms of both the recording quality and songs themselves. "Conjecture Means" marries a simple drum machine pitter-patter with fairly standard guitar chord progressions and less understated vocals while "Candyman" is a bit more entertaining, but also throws back to a more sloppy style. "Is It A Crime" brings together the more fuzzy, dense sounds of the first track with the more loose production, and the result is much less appealing than the earlier tracks. At just over twenty minutes, the Holiday Machine EP is a pretty scattershod affair from the group, tossing out tracks that feel more refined with others that feel almost like four track demos. Given the slightly rough production of their work to date, it's not surprising, but feels a little bit strange coupled with the more refined opening pieces.

Rating: 6