Thursday, February 23

Ambitious EP From Upstate NY Beatmakers

Artist: Abbrev.
Album: Abbrev. EP

Comments: Not much ever really comes out of Olean, New York, the upstate farming community that is home to the two drummers-turned-producers that make up Abbrev. (Which is an abbreviation for the word abbreviation) Chances are, the only thing you're going to find in Olean is cows, college students, and drugs, and I'm pretty sure two of the three were involved in the making of this EP. Whatever fuel this EP was recorded on, what has come out is a collections of songs showing ambition, promise, and youth.

The standout track in the collection is definitely "Death Toll Methane(Fetamine)." Solid drum rolls and fills rule this track, all while a horror movie like melody plays in the background, giving the song a haunting sense of urgency and importance, while never seeming desperate. This track would sound completely at home on an Aesop Rock album, or maybe Del tha FunkyHomosaipen. At the same time, the fact that it is able to stand on its own without and lyrics over it says a lot about the track.

The rest of the EP shows promise, but is flawed. For example, the interesting if not grating "inFLUxenza" uses a carnival like melody over solid beat making, but the big feature is the use of coughs and sneezes to enhance the song. This is impressive, simply in the fact that even in the hands of seasoned producers, this could sound more like a gimmick than an aid to the song, but Abbrev. avoids this completely. The only problem with the song is that it seems just too long, and the tempo changes are bound to give someone an epileptic seizure.

Overall, this collection of offbeat beats serves as a promissory note for good things to come. Whatever flaws the songs might suffer from (length is an issue, some songs seem too busy to be held together by the middle) in the end it is ambition youth that makes these tracks life. Keep an eye on Abbrev. because it won't be long before they get it perfect. And when they do, you're going to want to be there.

But bring some drugs. Lots of drugs.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 (EP ratings only go to 5)
Tracks: Death Toll Methane(Fetamine)
Sounds Like: A pinball machine making love to a synthesizer making love to a nintendo on speed.

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