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Thursday Discussion: My Favorite EPs

Posted by: Jason Tate (01/19/12)
I've never really wrapped my head around the idea that "EP" stands for extended play, and yet its the shorter version of an album. Extended seems, to me, to mean even longer than long play. Either way, you know the terminology, and I'm going to stop before I open myself up to too many jokes. The topic of today's "Thursday Discussion" post is: my favorite EPs. I feel like standing up for the little guy. The under-appreciated art of brevity. The brave souls that didn't stuff their albums with filler - and gave us EPs that left us wanting more. Those short little releases that introduced us to a band or a sound, and in some cases get more spins from me than the same band's full-length albums. I've put together my top 10 and included some links to check out the songs - so you can make sure you haven't missed out. Check it out - let me know what you think - and please include your own.

Oh, and even though there are numbers next to these - they're not really in any order. I also didn't go looking through the entire history of music to come up with these. Yes, they're relatively recent in the grand scheme of music.

1) Cartel - Ransom EP
NoteFrom the opening riff of "Luckie St." and the first introduction of Will Pugh's vocals - I knew this was something special. It's hands down one of my favorite EPs of all time, and arguably my favorite pop-punk EP ever.

ListenRdio, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon


2) JamisonParker - Notes & Photographs EP
NoteI can't remember many more hyped EPs than this one. And, I think fans will say: it didn't disappoint. This EP introduced the world to the boy from the cover of The Starting Line's SILYMI, and, it turned out, he could write a pretty damn good pop song himself.

ListenRdio, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon


3) Saosin - Translating the Name EP
NoteI was sitting in my dorm room in California when a label friend came to visit and passed me the instrumental demos for this album. They still hadn't found a lead singer yet ... but after the first 30 seconds of the first song, I felt like I was hearing a revolution. Then came Anthony Green. Then came the full EP - and that EP remains what other debut EPs are still measured against.

ListenSpotify, iTunes, Amazon


4) Autopilot Off - Self-Titled EP
NoteI first heard about the band, then Cooter, from a Blank TV music video. However, I wasn't really feeling it until they changed the band name and released their self-titled EP. There's not a single song on this 5 song gem that doesn't make me miss the band every time I listen to it.

ListenSpotify, iTunes, Amazon


5) Don't Look Down - Five EP
NoteIf more pop-punk bands took their cues from Don't Look Down, I'd be a happy camper. I don't think you can listen to "Weak Me" and not immediately start tapping your foot. It's a shame more people weren't into these guys when they were making music ...

ListenSpotify, iTunes, Amazon


6) The Clash - The Cost of Living EP
NoteThe EP has, arguably, the definitive recording of "I Fought The Law" on it. It's one of the first Clash songs I was ever introduced to and I've been a fan ever sense. I didn't include many "oldies but goodies" on this list ... but this one I couldn't pass up.

ListenSpotify, iTunes, Amazon


7) NOFX - The Decline
NoteOne song. 18 minutes. I'm calling it an EP. I remember buying this album and listening to nothing else for weeks on end. My high-school brain thought it was one of the most ambitious and amazing things ever. I still love that they did this, the messages in the song, and the overall theme. More bands should have the guts to try something like this ...

ListenSpotify, iTunes, Amazon


8) Something Corporate - Audioboxer EP
NoteHand's down, one of my favorite EPs ever. I over played this thing so many times I had to buy a second copy. Like many, it was one of the albums that changed my musical tastes almost over night. From fast paced punk and pop-punk -- to all of a sudden finding all kinds of love in melody and piano backed music. Drive-Thru really nailed it with those early EPs leading into full-lengths ... and this was one of the best.

ListenRdio, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon


9) The Who - Ready Steady Who EP
NoteThis was one of the albums I remember hearing as a child. It's got The Who's rendition of the Batman theme song on it ... which means it was getting included on the list no matter what.

ListenSpotify, iTunes, Amazon


10) 7 Seconds - Skins, Brains, and Guts EP
NoteThis album came out a year before I was born; however, I think I was around 14 with baggy clothes and a skateboard when someone first handed it to me. On a tape. Fuck I feel old. It was during my MxPx phase and anything that I could play loud and drown myself in - I was into. It was rough. It was raw. It had an entire chorus chanting "Racism Sucks" - and I ate it all up. Is skateboarding even cool anymore?

ListenSpotify, iTunes, Amazon


Man, I could keep doing this forever. The Get Up Kid's - Woodson? Saves the Day - I'm Sorry I'm Leaving? My current obsession A Wilhelm Scream - Self-Titled? NFG's original From the Screen to Your Stereo? At the Drive-In - Vaya? Yeah ... it's safe to say I'm not doing 50 of these things, but I easily could. I'll leave it to you guys to add to the list.

Note: Spotify is down for me at the moment, so I'll update this with links to Spotify streams once it goes back up.
  
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 287.
11:43 AM on 01/19/12
#2
irthesteve
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Great list. Cartel is way up there for me too, along with JamisonParker and Saosin. Tons more that I can't think of, but off that list, those are my choices
11:43 AM on 01/19/12
#3
irthesteve
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11:44 AM on 01/19/12
#4
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Botch's Anthology of Dead Ends
Saosin's Translating the Name
Days Away's LSDEP
These Arms Are Snake's This is Meant to Hurt You
AFI's All Hallows EP
If you want to get technical - The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour
Portugal. The Man's It's Complicated Being a Wizard
Glassjaw's Our Color Green and Coloring Book EPs
The World is a Beautiful Place's Formlessness
Caravels' Floorboards
11:44 AM on 01/19/12
#5
Simulcast
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Jesu - Silver
Steve Vai - Alien Love Secrets
Botch - An Anthology of Dead Ends
11:46 AM on 01/19/12
#6
Greg
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Punchline's "The Rewind E.P."
11:46 AM on 01/19/12
#7
xqueenofheartsx
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Gotta check out Ourlives - Out of Place if you haven't.
11:49 AM on 01/19/12
#8
Brian vs Shark
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American Football
11:49 AM on 01/19/12
#9
AShannon04
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Some of my favorite EPs:

Cartel - Ransom EP
Sherwood - The Summer EP
The Early November - The Acoustic EP
Lakes - Photographs EP
Weatherbox - Follow The Rattle of the Afghan Guitar
Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP
Monument Monument - Sleep Well When You Get There (not sure if this is technically an EP, but it only has 6 songs)
11:49 AM on 01/19/12
serendipity
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There's an awesome EP called "The Mean Way In" by a little band called Division Day released back in aught four... They're still around and releasing but there was something really unique and special about this specific release. I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially the song "There is No Telling."

PS, totally agree on Drive-Thru nailing it with the EPs. It was such a great system, I wish more labels would do it. My favorite was probably "With Hopes of Starting Over."
11:50 AM on 01/19/12
bobby runs
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The Starting Line- The Make Yourself At Home EP
11:50 AM on 01/19/12
Holly HoX!
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Translating The Name
Ear Candy for the Headphone Tripper
Follow the Rattle of the Afghan Guitar
Four Songs
Beyond Living
Tarot Classics
Vaya
See Birds
Group Tightener
Blood Bank
Bright Works and Baton
Forbidden Love
Sun Bronzed Greek Gods
Real Friends
Sun Giant
Animal Shapes
Literature
King Folly
You and Me and the Mountain
Get Hurt
You're In It Now
Jupiter
Reality
Of Light
Shapeshifter
Animals - snuffaluffagus
A lesson is crime
TV Girl

(By title)
11:50 AM on 01/19/12
bobby runs
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Some of my favorite EPs:

Cartel - Chroma
Sherwood - The Summer EP
The Early November - The Acoustic EP
Lakes - Photographs EP
Weatherbox - Follow The Rattle of the Afghan Guitar
Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP
Monument Monument - Sleep Well When You Get There (not sure if this is technically an EP, but it only has 6 songs)
Chroma is Cartel's first full-length.
11:51 AM on 01/19/12
Joe DeAndrea
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11:51 AM on 01/19/12
AShannon04
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Chroma is Cartel's first full-length.
Derp, you're right. Typo, I meant Ransom.
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