October 12th saw Melbourne band Eagle and the Worm release their fresh EP, Strangelove. Featuring five rather varied tracks, this record is everything one could expect of the group and more.
Eagle and the Worm’s horn section has always been, and will always be, a huge feature of their music; live or recorded. The jazz beats that almost turn to pop are entertaining and while they may not always induce foot tapping, they are musically brilliant.
Strangelove opens with “Angela’s Lonely Heart” and immediately listeners will wonder why this track was not the promotional single. Simple drumming behind repetitious, but not boring, horn lines compliment distinctive vocals. But don’t get too excited for more songs similar because the following four tracks are equally inspired and diverse.
Next up comes “Darling Let Me In”. This retro-sounding track could have easily been plucked straight out of a musical. The combination of both arrangements and production are why it works.
The introduction of “What You Looking For” almost borders on an R’n’B hit but ultimately proves unbelievably difficult to define. The reason this track is so interesting is because it is confusing - for lack of a better phrase.
“Give Me Time” is the EP’s first single (and has a film clip which you can see here: http://eagleandtheworm.com/). It is a somewhat unexpected release but has a groove that will make you to nod your head and put it on repeat. Featuring selected guitar lines and, again, a simple drum beat it is a throwback to the ‘90s.
To close out the release, Eagle and the Worm hurl some old school sax solos at their audience in “Doc. Strangelove”. Harmonised vocals work perfectly here and pauses are well timed to build feeling and atmosphere. This track does, however, seem to drag on that little bit too long.
The group’s regression from full album release (Good Times) in 2011 to a five-track EP this year raises a few questions for fans who might be saying: “we can't wait for a full release”.
But after listening to Strangelove it becomes clear why they chose to work this way. Strangelove can be likened to a ‘pick and mix’ bag, where fans get a small taste of everything. Each of the five tracks are very different and each works in its own way.
Strangelove is now available.
Review Score: 7.7 out of 10