A three track, thirteen minute EP – Ed Wood Jr ‘feats’ is a jazzy, sample-filled ride into the unknown. Immediately reminiscent of the ever-underrated Fugazi album ‘end hits’ which saw the uncompromising punks stretch into reggae, art-rock and anything else they could lay their hands on – so ‘feats’ sees a similar fusing of jazz drumming, nimble fingered guitar playing and bouts of mind-bending brutality. The mathematics behind the drumming alone is mind-boggling and these three tracks, each of which (as the name suggests) sees Ed Wood Jr collaborating with other artists are all spectacular examples of what happens when a band gets the mix between mind-bending technicality and searing rock ‘n’ roll.
Here Ed wood hit the ground running with the tumultuous ‘Zemzan’ (featuring Nico Cercueil and Bastian Tang) which shifts its ground between the aforementioned Fugazi-esque picking and sweeping mountains of noise not unlike Mogwai at their most righteously rocking. It’s one of those rare tracks that sees the ground dissolve under the sheer weight of the riffs pouring out of the speakers and if you’ve not heard the band before it’s a dazzling introduction. ‘Art brut’ (feat. Matnieu Deprez aka “contrebasick” is a worryingly technical excursion into fuzzed up rock and roll with a nifty double bass line stolen from David Gilmour’s acoustic line up. The mixing of styles is once again handled with a deftness of touch which sees the end result an entirely convincing and fascinating whole with no element seeming out of place despite the disparity of the genres blended together. Overall the feel is that of Fugazi at their heaviest but there are so many other interesting elements whirling through the mix that it would be unfair to suggest that Ed wood sound exactly like Fugazi – it’s merely a convenient reference point for the uninitiated. Final track ‘ropb1’ feat Ben Klang closes out this guest filled EP and leaves you yearning for more (luckily in my case as we still have the album to review) thanks to its odd reliance on backward phrasing leading into a veritable blizzard of guitars.
Instrumental, imaginative and thoroughly original this is a great EP and a great introduction to a band about whom I am already excited about learning more. Packaged in a simple, yet effective cardboard shell, with no artwork to speak of, ‘feats’ simply lets the music do the talking which I would be tempted to call a brave move if the content wasn’t of such an unshakably high standard. If you’re a fan of chaotic, brilliantly executed punk/art rock then you need this EP. Awesome stuff.