Jumbling Towers has been a bit quiet lately, but for good reason: The quartet has been hard at work recording a new EP, Classy Entertainment and breaking in its new drummer, Louis Wall.
J. Christopher Hughes -- who's recently worked with locals Victoria and Jon Hardy and the Public -- mixed and mastered Entertainment; the bass and drums were tracked on a "cold winter weekend in Milwaukee," says bassist Nate Drexler, while the rest was self-recorded by vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Joe DeBoer and keyboardist/guitarist Kyle McConnaghy.
Even better: The band plans on self-releasing the EP as a free download exclusively at its official Web site, jumblingtowers.com, at or around June 24. Beginning on June 1, head over to jumblingtowers.wordpress.com for the first of a series of video blogs, that will eventually lead you to the site.
Drexler was kind enough to send me the entire EP to preview. And after the jump, we have an exclusive download of new song "Apartments," which is my jam. But how's the rest of the EP?
Now, a few months ago, I was chided for being not-very-complimentary to the Jumbling Towers live experience -- I can't find the blogpost, or else I'd link it -- but said I'd reserve total judgment until I listened to the EP. Well, I have to say that I'm quite digging Entertainment. It's certainly less "poppy" than the band's debut LP -- which doesn't surprise me, based on the less-linear live shows -- but what was somewhat meandering in concert has been reined in for the studio versions. Piano is featured quite prominently, giving a few songs a haunted-mansion, eerie feel, while DeBoer's vocals are less theatrical (although no less enunciated). "Fortune" is even a b-movie-style surf-rock rave-up.
The short song lengths give each tune the feel of a vignette, or a small snapshot of a mood, that works for the unorthodox structures. "Jeer" and "Apartments" are propulsive -- the former feels like a punkish new-wave number -- while the other songs are atmospheric and need several spins to reveal all of their layers.
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