Darin's Favorite EPs of 2014

In an effort to cover all the great recordings that came out in 2014, I've separated out the EPs from the full length recordings. To define what albums are EPs, I look at the total length of the album and the amount of songs. If the album is under 30 minutes and contains less than seven songs, I call it an EP. For example, Reign in Blood by Slayer is under 30 minutes but there are 10 songs, so I would not call it an EP. But these are my random rules, so whatever, here is my list:

Cloudkicker - Little Histories

After a hugely successful tour with Intronaut as his backing band, Ben Sharp dropped a new Cloudkicker EP in 2014. Little Histories combines the mathy riffs, life-like drum programming, evocative melodies, and textural transcendence that defines Cloudkicker. But the addition of vocoded vocals (see Kraftwerk and Mogwai) on "Sky Guide" is a nice surprise.   

The Cruelest Animal - After The Waves Devour Us All

Like Little Histories, The Cruelest Animal's After The Waves Devour Us All is an instrumental album written and performed by one person. But unlike Cloudkicker, Alex Crane's main instrument is the drums. Therefore, the drums lead the musical charge while the bass, guitars, and synths provide memorable riffs and melodies throughout the record. Click here to learn more about the record's sound, which Crane describes as "prog rock/metal meets trip hop."  

Electric Wurms - Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk

This Flaming Lips side project features Steven Drodz on lead vocals, guitars, keys and drums, while Wayne Coyne played bass and members of Linear Downfall round out the new group. The sound is similar to the Lips, but with more obvious krautrock and classic progressive rock influences. Read our review here and check out the track below.

Epistasis - Light Through Dead Glass

Another great band to come out of the avant metal scene in New York City, Epistasis combines black metal aggression with elements of prog rock, ambient, jazz, and modern classical into their sound. Melodic trumphet lines on top of dissonant guitar riffing makes me smile. If that sounds interesting to you, read our our review here and listen to the album below.

Geryon - s/t

The rhythm section of avant black metallers Krallice formed their own two-piece band and release a self titled debut in 2014. With only bass and drums, you would think Geryon's sound wouldn't fill up the tonal spectrum. But their heavily distorted bass riffs and arpeggiated passages over super tight drumming and screamed vocals doesn't leave you wanting more. Read our review here and listen below.

Godflesh - Decline and Fall

In 2014, Godflesh released Decline and Fall only four months before releasing their first full-length in 11 years. This EP restored their classic sound with punchy drum machine, dirgey bass, aginizing vocals, and dissonant guitars, which delighted both old and new fans.

The Great Wall - The Iron Triangle: Congress

On The Iron Triangle: Congress, The Great Wall perfectly balance tech metal / math core riffage with emotional charged vocals without sounding like some mainstream post-screamo, new school djent crap, or even recent Dillinger Escape Plan records. Although the music is fairly complex (but not overly self indulgent), the vocal melodies and lyrics are so memorable. Add some great samples and 8-bit style electronic sounds to the mix, and there you have The Great Wall. Read our review here and listen below. 

J. Robbins - Abandoned Mansions

While most of the songs on this EP are not new per se, J. Robbins (formerly of Jawbox, Burning Airlines, and Channels) reworked the songs for acoustic guitar, cello, and keyboards. As a document of his recent live shows, Robbins released this EP of older reworked tunes along side the brand new title track. If you were ever into any of his previous work, check out these new recordings.