EP Reviews: Oliver Tank + Naked Maja + Phondupe + Ghyti

EP stands for Ecstasy Powder, Exaggerated Power and Ethereal Porridge. It also stands for Extended Player, a phrase in the musical world that means the release is more than a single, but not quite an album. So usually, your going to get between three and seven songs. EP’s have a special place in the world of music, as they act as a form of showcasing a band’s talent. That’s the case with these stellar four releases from vastly different bands. And I’m going to review them. One by one. Oh yeah, can you feel the raw talent in the air? That’s Aussie music baby. Aussie fucking music.

Oliver Tank-Slow Motion Music

Once again, Sydney’s Oliver Tank is providing the sort of chilling, slowly twisting music that only Oliver Tank can deliver. Its like he takes all the emotional poignancy of a love story, say, The Notebook, and then slows it down and turns it into a ballet. You really can;t tear your eyes away from his music. On his new EP ‘Slow Motion Music’, he raises the stakes and turns the beautifully epic nature of his songs into a life and death situation. The opener ‘Stay (feat. Fawn Myers)’ is so fucking elegant, you’d think that it was a lioness raising its cubs in the wild rather than a song from an Australian producer. This theme of music that’s more graceful than an elederly enchantress  spinning magical spell continues throughout the rest of the EP. I feel as though if Standish/Carlyon lost their BDSM (note: I don’t want them to ever lose that, its what makes them so fucking great) they could sound a bit like Oliver Tank on this new EP. All in all, ‘Slow Motion Music’ is an elongated and beautiful collection of music that puts Beethoven’s ‘Best Of’ to shame.

Naked Maja-Disillusion EP

On the topic of Standish/Carlyon retaining their BDSM imagery, its the brand new EP from Brisbanauts Naked Maja, a band that like to get on the darker, more experimental side of nocturnal pop. Their music has always been suitably rife to freak out innocent six year olds, and their new EP ‘Disillusion’ is no different. Similar to Naked on the Vague, but with more of a ‘Born Slippy’ feel, Naked Maja are unique in the way their music can spread its fingers all the way down your spine and disturb you better than having Freddy Krueger jump out of your stripper cake. Four songs long, the ‘Dissolusion’ EP manages to be both incredibly sickly and damned beautiful. That sounds like an unachievable juxtapositon, but just take a listen to the opening track ‘#59’. Warped guitar scales higher and higher, whilst ghostly vocals creep along. The song is more brooding than Robert Smith engaged in an emotional battle of wits with Romeo. But the music of the song keeps the stakes elevated, so much so that it feels like an original Wes Craven horro movie is jumping out of your iTunes. Such is the concept of Naked Maja, and by fuck do they pull it off well. You can grab the entire EP for $5 from the link above, or head to Naked Maja’s Triple J Unearthed for a couple of freebies here.

Phondupe-Greenhouse EP

You may or may not remember Phondupe from their inclusion of the song ‘ the latest Hand Games mixtape that I know you definitely downloaded because it was too good to leave by the wayside. I’ve left a link there in case you’re a misguided youth and never got around to it. Anyway, Phondupe are like a mixture of the previous two artists, plus some melancholy, plus some Mount Kimbie influence. It’s dark and yes, again, brooding, but its stunning to listen to because some of the tracks on here are like watching a tiger sleep from an eyelash distance away. Specifically, I’m talking about the ‘Asena’, with its growling  synth chords and Medusa vocals that’ll turn you straight to stone. If Passion Pit were walking down a dark, dark alley in Bristol, and then were suddenly jumped by Tricky and stabbed beyond recognition, the last trickle of blood spilling through the cobblestone would stain itself into ‘Asena’. Although on initial view you might think that its a slow track, there’s a lot of dark and twisted magic bubbling beneath the surface, and that added danger makes it more seductive than a Die Hard marathon. The other three tracks on the EP are just as James Bond villain-esque, tranquil but vicious, and the more and more you listen to Phondupe, the more you fear that you’ll never be able to listen to anything else.

The Greenhouse EP hasn’t actually been released yet, which is why I’ve linked the single ‘Proxy’ up the top there. Enjoy the free download, and thank me later.

Ghyti-Life is Cheap EP

To quote the great Monty Python ‘And now for something completely different!’. After being slowly tugged into despair by the previous couple bands, its time to shake the fear loose with Radelaide dudes Ghyti. This one goes to out to fans of 90’s era Jebediah and Screamfeeder, which is basically anyone who liked guitar music and was older than 12 after 1995. From the very opening chords, there’s a pub rock styling established that hasn’t been done all that well in previous years, but is captured incredibly proficiently with Ghyti. Maybe all those years of listening to You Am I and Hoodoo Gurus paid off? Yeah, it definitely did, as Ghyti switch from catchy rock ‘To Gideon, All the Best, God’ and ‘Journal of the King’, to sincere ballads like ‘Sad Sack’. And the whole time, that Aussie demeanour is never dropped, which shows that Ghyti are the real fucking deal.