When the Dirty Projectors released their latest L.P. 'Bitte Orca' earlier this year, critics and fans went crazy for their hyperactive blend of psychedelic and sugary-pop theatrics and whilst the praise came thick and fast, we were left scratching our heads a little.
The production was smooth and their sound is admittedly unique to an extent but there was nothing - and we really mean nothing - that left us wanting more. The vocals seemed off, the 'experimental' moments were overblown and it became genuinely annoying after just a few full listens. "Knotty Pine" - their submission for the Dark Was The Night compilation - was a fantastic display of how down-played and surprisingly professional they can sound when they actually try so it's all the more frustrating to go back to the L.P and feel disappointment dawn all over again.
So, as 2009 comes to a close, the Brooklyn collective have decided to release this new four-track record, the Temecula Sunrise EP, just in case you had forgotten that they were around this year or something. Unfortunately and once again, we're completely confused as to what the fuss is all about.
The first two songs are just the same two songs from Bitte Orca except they've swapped them around meaning Temecula Sunrise comes first and Cannibal Resource comes next. They both reinforce the aforementioned point that the band sure as hell sound unique in their style but it's just really not an appealing style whatsoever. The initial and biggest downfall is male vocalist and founder of the band Dave Longstreth. His overall vocalism and the patterns and melodies he attempts to create are by far the focal annoyance to the band's overall musicality and it's personally managed to ruin more than just a few songs that could've held their fair share of promise.
One such example of the above observation is track three on the new E.P, Ascending Melody. It's a playfully relaxed rhythm, settling into a nicely paced, female-fronted and harmonic verse that could well just be the best thing they've made to date. "That's good, that's good, okay here we go" utters Longstreth in the background before interrupting the placidity with a horribly out-of-tune attempt at joining in. "Asc-end-ing mel-o-dy" repeat both female vocalists like a pair of angelic robots whilst Longstreth destroys any hope the song may have possessed with his unneeded and discordant shouting of "ascending melody!" that sits crudely over the top. Once again, the frontman has somehow managed to detriment the bands potential.
We're finally left with the second new song and E.P ender Emblem Of The World which we'd love to pick apart and explain to you but to be truthful, you've probably heard something pretty darn similar in the other three tracks. Catchy it is but clever it most certainly is not.
When it boils down to it, the Temecula Sunrise EP seems like an overtly pointless release with nothing more to offer than two previously heard tracks and two b-side-esque entries that conjure nothing more than a heaving 'MEH'. It's not like we've completely given up on them yet, we're just not willing to accept more of the same recycled experimental-pop that they're currently churning out in droves.