Many of my favorite releases from this year were 5-6 song eps rather than 8-10+ song full-length releases. It is, perhaps, a statement on modern music industry that, with one exception, all of these were self-released. As John Lennon said, “Power to the people.”
Here, in no particular order, are a few favorite EPs from 2011.
If this had been a full-length it would have given Jason Isbell a challenge for the top spot on my Best of 2011 Albums list. With just five songs, Ludwig and the Santa Fe Seven deliver the rock and roll goods. Energy flows through every track, propelled by a powerhouse rhythm section and punctuated by an ever-present slide guitar. And with choruses as catchy as these, you’ll be hard-pressed to not sing along. (Twangville reviews here and here.)
Audio Download: Maxim Ludwig and the Santa Fe Seven, “Stacy C’mon”
The Georgia quartet bring on the rock, channeling the New York Dolls one minute and Cheap Trick the next. Their songs are filled with insanely catchy melodies, sneering vocals and snarling guitars. What’s not to like? (Twangville reviews here and here.)
Audio Download: The Biters, “Born To Cry”
I can’t think of many bands whose songwriting is a spirited as their performances. Put this one on that list. Singer-songwriter Naseem Khuri spits out sharply-written lyrics while his bandmates whip up a musical frenzy.
The “official” release isn’t until 10 January 2012, but since I just went to the ep release and you can order it through the band’s web site I’m calling it a 2011 release. Beat the rush and be the envy of all your friends.
(Twangville review here.)
Audio Download: Kingsley Flood, “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”
What started as an experiment has blossomed into pure pop perfection. A whirl of instruments and layered vocals fashion an orchestral sound. (Twangville review here.)
Audio Download: The Poison Oaks, “Pine”
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.