Ecstatic Sunshine - Freckle Party
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Ecstatic Sunshine
Freckle Party

The duo of Matthew Papich and Dustin Wong might very well make for the most odd entry on the Carpark Records roster to date. Ecstatic Sunshine is a group comprised of two guys who play guitars, but please note that it's not just your average lackadaisical coffeehouse-style busking. On Freckle Wars it's all about the riffs as the two players rip through section after section in their slightly math-like electric guitar fueled songs.

Because of their limited range in terms of instrumentation, Ecstatic Sunshine tries to keep the listeners attention by going fast and furious on the guitars just about all the time. Album opener "Ramontana" shifts between lighthearted surf-rock style melodies, some deft dual-guitar plucking, and feedback-laced throwdowns. "Beetle" is similar in structure, keeping things playful for the majority of the opening part of the track before sliding off into a heavier second half, where thicker chords fight with delicate notes. The album-titled "Freckle Wars" is one of the standouts on the release as the duo zips through playful progression after playful progression with a mathlike precision before culminating in a giant strum of feedback and a whooped holler to end the track.

Despite running just over a half-hour in length, Freckle Wars is one of those releases that just sort of starts to run together after awhile. The duo has a fairly good ear for melody, but don't exactly mix things up a great deal, instead preferring to keep riffs hitting about as fast as they can instead of allowing any breathing space. Because of this, the twelve tracks start to blur into one another after awhile and even sound like they're missing pieces the further they go. After multiple listens of the release, I found myself imagining full rhythm sections and even other melodic elements to help fill out the frenetic, but ultimately somewhat lacking tracks. Despite some amazing technical abilities and several tracks that stand well on their own, this is a weird little album that doesn't really take hold.

rating: 5.7510
Aaron Coleman 2006-09-07 19:38:33