Friday, September 5, 2014

EP Corner: Box Rocket

box rocket cover art

Welcome once again to the cosy little nook that I like to call EP Corner. Each of these blog posts focuses on a commendable example of the extended play format, with the overall goal being to demonstrate that EPs can be just as engaging and as artistically rich as full-length albums. We've already covered Chronic Town by R.E.M. and Of The Night by the Guillemots; today, I'd like to talk about my friend Ed.

Ed is many things: drawing, film-making, and music are just three of the talents on his resumé, and while I'm most interested in his music for the purposes of this blog, it should be noted that the physical version of his Box Rocket EP (available here) comes with a pretty rad comic book, because that's just the sort of multimedia guy he is.

But that's just for posterity - let's talk about the songs. Box Rocket is made up of four tracks, all of which are about space or space-related stuff. More people should release concept EPs, I think; themes and motifs can get muddled and lost over the course of a full-length album, but when your concept is only spread across a handful of songs, it tends to keep everything a lot more focused.

Let's go through Box Rocket, then, track-by-track:
  1. Space is Where It's At sets the scene nicely, introducing our overarching theme and neatly explaining why Ed is so fascinated with outer space. It's catchy, too - another of Box Rocket's recurring themes.

  2. Traffic (not to be confused with the Stereophonics song of the same name, which proves once and for all that Kelly Jones and Co are, in fact, capable of great things) is all about lazing around and procrastinating when you know you could - and should - be doing something incredible. In this example, that 'something' is building a rocket and going to space. There's a video for this one, and if you watch carefully, you might spot be holding up a couple of stars:

  3. Cosmic Bike is the EP's longest track, and it details Ed's journey throughout the solar system on his, uh, cosmic bike. Could probably replace the 'My Very Elegant Mother' mnemonic as the best way to remember all the planets and what order they're in.

  4. The Astronaut is a somewhat melancholy closer, sung from the perspective of the titular galactic explorer. It's not entirely clear what's happening to him, but he sounds very homesick.
And that's all there is to it, and that's all it needs. Four sweet songs about space, brought together in one brilliant space-themed mini-extravaganza and packaged with a free comic for good measure. It's a great little listen, and it demonstrates that EPs really can be just as satisfying as their longer cousins.

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