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More Pop Wackiness From Jeepster

Mappleton Sands 201298 EP

On their sophomore release Musicality, Salako sounded kind of like a cross between Belle and Sebastian and the Beta Band (if that can be imagined) and with it, they released quite a catchy little album full of sing-along songs and just enough wackiness to keep the listener on edge and wondering what they would do next. They weren't as trippy as the Betas, nor as straighforward pop as B&E, but worked the right amount of each in creating their unique sound.

This EP finds them following that sound straight-up, as well as veering off a little bit more to the weird side of things. In other words, the kids are still allright, although things on this short, 6 song EP are a little less polished than their full-length.

They open the release with "San Francisco Baby Rides," and it finds them in familiar territory with an unobtrusive drum machine beat and echoed-out vocals in the background and some pretty, acoustic guitar and breathy vocals in charge of things. Right before the end of the track, it drifts into near freak-out territory, but restrains before launching into the quite grooving second track (and almost commercial for their aforementioned album) called "(Have You Heard) Musicality?" This time, though, the group does go into spaz mode about a minute from the end of the track and they let out a flaming guitar solo for about 15 seconds before calming down again. The third track is probably the strangest thing the group has ever done, while they wind things down with a minute long instrumental (with some nice flute) before closing out the disc on the quiet and pretty "The Overhead Projector Theory."

The whole thing clocks in at under 18 minutes, and if you're a fan of the group it's well worth having as they bring their usual amount of infectious energy and fun to things. Overall, though, it isn't nearly as solid as their full-length and some of the more experimental tracks simply don't work too well. Fans; yes. Others interested; check out their full-lengths first.

Rating: 5.5