Friday, November 20, 2009

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Dark Wave EP (CD, 2003)

Another reason I love Malkmus: Whether with Pavement or solo, his singles always feature unreleased tracks, or like in this case, turn into an EP.

Other than the title track, which is taken from Pig Lib, there are five unreleased songs here. Three are studio cuts (originals, as far as I can tell) that apparently didn't make it onto Pig Lib (though they could have), and two wild and very un-Malk-like live covers. All in all, a solid import-only EP.

The three studio tracks are all quite different, with "Dynamic Calories" featuring a slinky guitar tone and busy drums that make it differ from any other solo Malkmus track I can think of. "Fractions & Feelings" is more straightforward, riding a huge riff and a pushy melody. "Old Jerry" is the most Pig Lib-ish of the bunch, a slow builder that takes some patience. It's slight hollow and works well.

The two live tracks are chaotic. "The Poet & The Witch" is a Mellow Candle cover, and "Shake it Around" starts rambunctiously and gets wilder before it disintegrates.

Nerdy info: The songs here are the same ones that came with the original first pressing of Pig Lib, which was a two-disc set. Also: people are charging way too much for this on Amazon and other sites. Be patient, and you can get a cheap copy on eBay. That's what I did.

"Dark Wave"

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