What an enjoyably confusing EP this is. Exu_Wow by Deathpodal starts out as a nice, slightly meandering record, in no rush to get itself moving and generally giving the impression of a nice, pleasant twenty minutes of laid back, just slightly experimental indie with guitar which reminds me, if anything, of some of the less resolutely pop efforts of the mid-nineties.
By the time Squirrel and the Fox starts, that impression is pretty much cemented. The guitars are prominent again, and a nice, rumbling cello underpins it all. It’s not so much that this is bad – quite the opposite, it’s actually very good – it’s just that by the time the next song is over you realise that it is really nothing like the full picture of this EP.
Every Superstition Shall Be Removed reminds me of the Metalcast we recorded here a few months ago. Specifically, it reminds me of the kind of early, shouty Pavement and Nirvana which a lot of people who crossed comfortably between the metal and the indie worlds might have listened to. It’s either metal played by someone with a very large number of indie and slacker rock influences, or… well, rearrange the genres in that sentence as you will, you’ll be there or thereabouts whichever order you put them in.
Sycamore follows, which is a short instrumental number, with shuffling cutlery in the background and slowly clanking piano to the fore, before There is a Diagram for This, the EP’s longest song, brings matters to a close with something of a mixture of all that has gone before. If Exu_Wow was long enough to justify the term, you’d say this song was the EP in microcosm. In fact it is sort of like a reprise of that which has gone before, starting with the nice, comforting guitary indie, building to a screaming climax and then finally petering out into a two minute instrumental fade.
I like this. I don’t exactly like all of the sounds, and in isolation I might not actually like all of the songs. But this isn’t a collection of songs, it is a whole piece of work, and one which lulls you in nicely before wrong-footing you with one of the most well-executed flourishes I’ve seen in a while. I like the way Every Superstition… doesn’t just surprise you from a musical point of view, it fundamentally changes the way you view the songs around it, acting as the fulcrum of the entire record.
Very clever. And very good.
Buy the EP from iTunes in the US here: