The Seattle, WA native band, Special Explosion of Topshelf Records, will be releasing their new EP, The Art of Mothering, on February 25th, 2014. The band is composed of Andy Costello (guitar/vocals), Lizzy Costello (bass/vocals), Sebastian Deramat (guitar), and Jacob Winihan (drums).
One of my favorite things about this group is the combined vocals of both Andy and Lizzy Costello. On this EP, both voices come and go and that is something that sets them apart from many other bands in their genre. The song, “Clotheslined,” features both voices interchanging with one another, as well as combining on parts. This track is one that defines the EP with what type of sound this group is capable of. I would have preferred to have more songs like this one on the album. This album heavily relies on longer instrumental breaks than vocals, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
With a track like, “Kingdom,” it has over a minute intro of just instruments, and then a long break from vocals in the middle as well. A song titled, “If Only,” has just a little too much going on for a single track. The vocals continue to drag along and clash for just too long. The guitars could also have been recorded a tad clearer to ease up on the listeners ears. As the EP progresses, the band slows it down with the track, “The Art of Mothering Pt. 1.” This track features an acoustic guitar with both Andy and Lizzy’s voices. The song is then followed by, “The Art of Mothering Pt. 2,” which is composed of an upbeat, full band track. This is the strongest track of the whole EP and a great way to close out the album. This track show cases not only the vocals, but especially the musical talent of those playing instruments. With a line like, “You think you know everything, well you don’t,” any listener can relate. I’m sure someone’s name came to mind when reading that line. Short and sweet and to the point. As stated before, it would be easier on the ears of a listener if the recording were to be a tad bit smoother. At some points, it is just too scratchy to even be able to focus on the music.
Special Explosion experimented with different types of styles, melodies, and compositions on this album and if you are into that sort of thing, then I would recommend you check out this album. Each song, for the most part, is different from the next.
Make sure to grab your copy of The Art of Mothering, when released on February 25th.
Review by Emily Bowman