Mar 16, 2012

This is an assemblage of ECSR tracks, spanning their early demos, going through the title track from Rush to Relax, their third full length. It’s curated. Not completeist. Not solely the “hits” or ephemera. It’s this artful, confident touch, this feeling that you’re being guided through a musical experience—even when it’s songs that have all been released before (albeit extremely limited)—that shows the kaleidoscopic power and fun of ECSR. At its barest bones, the band is rock’n’roll. At its robes, it’s simultaneously both proto- and post- a lot of genres. The beginnings. The eventual turning wheel of today. So Many Things is an excellent collection of one of the most powerful, entirely listenable, energetic Australian bands. Ever. If you want an “album” album, with beginning, middle, and end, I recommend Primary Colours. Here’s where I’ll get weird and you can drop down to the next review. About ten years ago, the oldest cave drawings—by a long shot—were discovered in France. I was expecting stick figures. Maybe triangles for ladies’ pelvises. Circles for heads. But the drawings were more complex than crude. Horses with motion and four front legs, shading, personality. The artists even used the contours of cave walls to develop volume, light, texture. It contains the earliest drawn depiction of a woman—who, herself, turns into an animal below the torso. Impressionistic, deliberate, patterned handprints, mark an entrance. I was surprised by the advancement in what’s supposed to be so primitive, so dawn of the brain. This was their very first attempt. It was in a cave inhabited with bears. So when side A, the demos and early tracks, of ECSR spin around, I’m both amazed and comforted that no matter the modern equivalent of bears—international banks, multinational corporations, dictators, warlords, prick neighbors, pick your predatory animal—there’ve always been artists. Artists worth discovering because they’ll remain meaningful years down the road, even if we’re all headed for darkness, for another ice age.

 –todd (Goner)

Thankful Bits

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