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Jacknuggeted EP

I used to really dislike EPs and singles. I think it was due to the fact that I had more time on my hands, and I would listen to longer stretches of music without changing anything. Short releases that ran under 20 minutes used to drive me batty when I was studying in college, because with a single disc player I'd either have to change the disc or listen to it on repeat (which was no fun over the course of a many-hour period). Those are bad excuses, I know, but since my life has become a little more hectic, I've grown to appreciate the joy of well-constructed EPs and singles.

Jacknuggeted EP is an absolute gem of an EP, and works perfectly as an accompaniment to the recent album by Manitoba (Up In Flames, still cruising high on my album-of-the-year chart). While it pulls the title track of "Jacknuggeted" from that full-length, it adds 3 entirely new songs that fit perfectly with the aforementioned, yet probably wouldn't have fit quite as well on the full-length. If you've already read my review of that disc, you know how I feel about the song "Jacknuggeted" (in short, it was one of the best tracks on the entire release), but the three included tracks on this short release are all quite good as well.

"Olé" is the second track on the disc, and it mixes cut-up acoustic guitar loops with chimes and just a breath of vocals while lopped-off live drum loops (which sound vaguely similar to the ones on "Bijoux") roll in the background. "Thistle And Felt" continues the more fragile sound of the disc with cut-up chimes, vocal loops and pulsing strings as little keyboard melodies squirrel around in the background. The middle section of the track melts multiple xylophone parts over filtered drums, before the whole mess comes swirling back in again. It's tender and nice, and works in a similar way as "Crayon," but never feels like a facsimile of that track.

The 16-minute EP closes out with "Seaweed," a rushing acoustic-guitar filled track that swarms with kiddie toy sounds and chimes and warms the heart with soft dynamics changes and gorgeous swells. As described above, the three new tracks on this release all play with a much more childish and fragile side than the new release. None of the tracks are nearly as dense, and either chimes or xylophones seems to be the primary instrument used, giving the songs a playful, buoyant feel that perfectly compliments the almost over-the-top sonics of the full-length. This is one EP good enough to listen to on repeat, and Dan Snaith is on a roll...

Rating: 8.25