There's a certain artistry to the compilation and release of EPs as opposed to full-length recordings. These days, the most common EP form seems to be the album teaser--three or four songs released just prior to a full-length in order to generate interest. To my ears, the far more interesting endeavor is an EP that bridges a gap, so to speak: A release that stands on its own as an artistic statement.
Sorry About Dresden's new EP, How The Cold War Began, definitely does just that. Equally comfortable playing in someone's living room or under the club lights, SAD are some of the hardest working boys in Triangle rock. The danger in such a strategy could be that they might grow to be taken for granted, but the upside is that through playing together and growing as musicians, SAD are fast becoming one of the most talented and interesting bands in the area, with this EP documenting the quartet's growth.
The opener, "Temporary Felts" sets an introspective mood from the start, its acoustic guitar not quite what might be expected from SAD, but dead-on effective. In fact, the EP as a whole has a quiet feel that's a departure from their high-energy live shows--I can't imagine Matt Tomich jumping off of an amplifier during many of these numbers. But they do throw in a couple of rockers: "The Mayor Will Abdicate" now stands as my favorite SAD song, with its slighter, off-kilter guitar rifts and staccato vocals reminding these ears a bit of Goo-era Sonic Youth mixed with a touch of '80s new wave. The EP's closer might be its strongest track, "Failure Of Wollet," wherein Matty Oberst contributes to the heartfelt emotional territory tread by his younger brother, Conor (Bright Eyes).
But not to worry kids, I don't think they'll be setting up chairs at SAD shows anytime soon.
And while this may serve as a bridge into an expanded repertoire for the band, it also has me anxiously awaiting their new full length. Leaders of the "new school" indeed.--duncan booth