Eddy Current Suppression Ring: Rush to Relax

Artist: Eddy Current Suppression Ring

Title: Rush to Relax
Release date: March 9
Label: Aarght! Records

Had a real cool time on the radio Thursday with the Blaze's Sarah Ventre. We played a bunch of my favorite songs from 2010, and I wound making numerous references to the Australian band Eddy Current Suppression Ring. 

Their 2008 record, Primary Colours, is one of my favorite records from the past five years or so. The band is turning out to be fairly popular in their native land, but here, they'll likely never be anything more than a cult favorite. However, recently they've been name-checked by Spoon, whose 2010 record, Transference (which I liked, by the way), is clearly influenced by ECSR's Primary Colours.
In short, ECSR is one of my favorite bands going right now. So I was a little disappointed in their new one, Rush to Relax. It's got all the same elements that made Primary Colours sound so good: the looping guitar figures and bass lines, the propulsive drumming, the understated sense of melody, singer Brendan Suppression's stream-of-conscious lyrics and petulant vocals, the you-are-there production. 

So what's the problem? All the elements mentioned above just aren't as good this time around. Simply put, the songs aren't as good. The best songs on Rush to Relax might not have even found a home on the vastly superior Primary Colours.

I'm still pretty excited that this band exists and look forward to what they do next. I just hope they push themselves a little harder next time. 

Best song: "Second Guessing," the seven-minute centerpiece of the record.
Rotation: Heavy. I'm disappointed, but I'll probably still give it a lot more chances to grow on me.
Deja vu: The Fall meets Wire meets The Feelies meets Television
I'd rather listen to: Their 2008 breakthrough LP Primary Colours
Grade: C+

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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