The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Gimme Five!

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On their 1998 release, Extended Revelation (For the Psychic Weaklings of the Western Civilization), TSOOL revealed they were masters of the long-form album. Their 2000 release, Gimme Five!, demonstrated they hadn't yet ironed out the EP format. The first two tracks are simply marvelous and are among the best the band is capable of. "Dow Jones Syndrome" gives a nod to the punk rock background of over half the band (Union Carbide Productions and Nymphet Noodlers alumni). Its slashing guitar riffs and screaming punk chorus (co-sung by guitarist Matthias Barjed) are seasoned with harpsichord and layered overdubs of various instruments. "Nobrainer" pokes fun at advertising executives with its boardroom-lingo lyrics while musically weaving a hypnotic blend of drum loops, throbbing bass, trippy sounds, and wah-wah guitar. It proves to be a daunting task to sustain the ingenuity of the opening tracks. "It Ain't Free (Living in a Bubble)" and "James Last Experience," while solid songs with the usual moments of brilliance, sound out of place with their straightforward rock approach. It suddenly seems as if listeners have switched to another release, much less another band. One of the factors that make TSOOL such a great band on album is their ability to amalgamate various styles and genres from rock & roll's past to create something fresh. In the EP format that eclecticism works against them. They don't have the time to build the bridges between tracks that vary greatly in style and substance. Approached as a collection of singles and B-sides, Gimme Five! works, with "Dow Jones Syndrome" and "Nobrainer" being the A-sides. For more thematically and stylistically cohesive examples of their EP work, check out the Mantra Slider EP or the Bonus Future Excerpts EP.

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