is an EP that situates itself nicely between the slightly schizophrenic Good Morning Spider
and the surprisingly consistent third album. The EP isn’t particularly revelatory, but does come as a nice addition to Sparklehorse’s catalogue.
Remember how I was complaining in my previous review about how Linkous’ tendency to tamper too much with some songs made them lose impact? Well, the very song I was talking about - “Happy Man” - is included twice here, but without that 2+ minutes of unnecessary static.
The first version (“Memphis Version”), recorded with the semi-legendary Eric Drew Feldman, gets to the point without much fuss and rocks with a startlingly tough core, while the live version that closes the album even adds fury to it, becoming a white-hot piece of incendiary rock I wouldn’t have presumed Linkous capable of (if it weren’t for “Pig” which it refers to at the end, hence the title).
The other live track featured here - “Gasoline Horseys” from the debut album - is something entirely different. It's delicate and approximately what I’d expect if Vic Chesnutt were crossed with Daniel Johnston, while Sofie Michalitsianos’ vocals are simply endearing (as they also were throughout the previous album, for which I forgot to give her credit).
The remaining tracks are solo recordings, 'made' by Linkous. Both “Waiting for Nothing” and “Happy Place” (a song he wrote with Cracker’s David Lowery, and that was previously recorded by Susanna Hoffs) seem to initiate the much more comfortable sound of It’s a Wonderful Life
, even though they’re not as impressive as the majority of the songs on that album.
by Reviewer: Guy Peters
(blogging at Guy's Music Review Site