Several good EP’s have crossed my listening desk over the summer, and while individually there wasn’t quite enough material in each of them for a full review, they’re all worth a listen.
First up is the latest from Lost & Nameless, When You Walked Into the Room. I first ran across this group early in the year when their Empty Spaces EP came out. I noted at the time they had a fun and diverse sound, and their new release continues down that path. The title cut opens the EP with an up-temp0 commentary on love-at-first-sight that will give you a chuckle, “you turned your head in my direction and my future was planned out.” Say Goodbye features the youngster in the band, Kimberly Zielnicki, on vocals along with guest Todd Phillips. Have We Lost has a definite new grass sound, while May I brings in a touch of gospel. The EP ends with an acoustic, fiddle-drive piece, Matthew’s Reel/Reel a Levis Beaulieu. I’d comment on who plays what, but with just about everyone in the group playing half a dozen instruments, you’d need a scorecard. So instead just sit back and enjoy a really fine band with roots from Ireland to Austin.
Next, I’ll call your attention to Strikes And Gutters, the latest release from Brian Pounds. Pounds is perhaps best known as one of the contestants on last season’s The Voice. A couple of tunes on this EP, Hold My Head High and Sunday Dress, certainly reinforce the idea of a pop country crooner. Somewhere, Maybe Carolina is a little more old school country. Keep My Hands To Myself, my favorite on the disc, has a clear soul sound to it. The EP finishes with Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die (On My Feet) that’s part prayer and part assessment of a situation familiar to all too many folks.
The last EP is not exactly Twangville material. The only twang you’re going to hear out of The Nightowls is if someone breaks a string in a live show. An Austin band by way of 60’s Detroit, with some Bootsy Collins thrown in for good measure, The Nightowls have dropped an EP of “B-sides” from their album last year, Good As Gold. If you’re old enough to know what a B-side is, you’ll remember that it was no reflection on the material, more just a commentary on what the label liked, and this set reflects that. The Feel Good gives you a taste of Funkadelic-style soul. Nobody Ever Wants To Leave was chosen as the official song of the Austin Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. After All has some old school Stevie Wonder sounds to go with the Motown vibe. Either Way finishes the EP on a high note with the horns asserting themselves in all the right places.