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Dada Trash Collage: Rain War EP



When you receive an album with as stunningly offbeat and arresting artwork as Dada Trash Collage’s Rain War EP, you can only hope that the music contained inside will be as beautifully original. The case is about twice the size of a normal CD, with wood panels and collage artwork jumping off from every direction. Luckily, after spinning the album on repeat this sunny afternoon, I can say convincingly that this album more than lives up to its excellent packaging.

The EP, which is only four songs and 22 minutes, shows a band that has reached outside of the normal boundaries and has created an impressive collection of songs. The tracks, heavily indebted to Animal Collectives avant pop work, are a sonic journey created by a new band that is sure to make a splash in the local music scene. Starting with the wild percussion and echoed vocals of “Watching You Paint Your Nose,” you get a pretty clear idea of what the band is aiming to create. The songs seem tethered to pop sensibilities, but feature a wild nature that makes each song exciting and worthy of multiple listens to dissect each new area you missed on the last spin. Things pick up with the raucous “Slow Death in the Midwest,” which is a swirling, psychedelic take on demented pop music. While twitchy, off kilter pop music isn’t for anyone, it is clear by this point that this is a talented band that is intent on making some great pop music for those of us sick of the standard material. The real gem of the album comes on the third song, which is the title track of the EP. “Rain War” melds all that makes this EP, and the band, successful into nearly seven minutes of scintillating avant pop music. With gurgling instrumentation and off kilter rhythms, the track features a child-like naivety both in spirit and in the lyrical content. Near the end of the track, the music slows down and front man William Freed sings “Is there a chance all the things I need may be possible?” The Panda Bear like background vocals add another layer to the already great song, which washes over the listener in unrelenting waves. The EP ends with the shortest song on the record, the just under four minute “More to Life Than Surprise.” The track features haunted, effect laden vocals with abstract and distant keys that give way to pounding, tribal like drums. The song never leaves its half speed crawl, but is telling in that it draws in the listener with its minimal structure and spaced out vulnerability.

Rain War is an EP that is serving as a preview to the band’s LP, which will be coming out later this year. One can only hope that the full record continues down the same path and this band continues to experiment with their exciting and forward thinking pop music. Unfortunately if they do get the attention they deserve, they probably will have to do away with their awesome, hand made CD cases. That is a shame, but an inconvenience I will take if the group continues to make such great music.

     -Josh Keller