Built to Spill/Caustic Resin sees the two title bands working together to perform four songs; the first two songs are penned by Built to Spill, the third is penned by Caustic Resin, and the final track is a cover of a Kicking Giant's "She's Real." "When Not Being Stupid Is Not Enough" is an incredible nine-minute ride, filled to the emotional breaking point with classic Doug Martsch guitar dynamics, his confident vocals, and angry lyrics. The song would seem completely at home on the band's album Perfect From Now On, as it's as subtle and finely crafted as it is noisy and monumental. It is, without a doubt, a must-listen for fans. "One Thing" is one of the angrier songs in Built to Spill's arsenal; it doesn't really go anywhere, and it might best be described as a more bitter version of the band's There's Nothing Wrong With Love-era pop sound. "Shit Brown Eyes" is more psychedelic than the other songs on the EP. What it lacks in cohesion, it makes up in virtuoso guitar attacks. Martsch's trademark guitar squalls make it worth a listen, but Brett Netson's vocals are no match for Martsch's. "She's Real" is interesting and epic, suggesting a shimmering '50s rock song gone indie, amid bunches of angst and a somewhat painful harmony. The extended jam midsong gets a bit tedious, foreshadowing the Neil Young cover that was to come on Built to Spill's Live album. "When Not Being Stupid Is Not Enough" is the real reason the EP deserves attention. It surpasses the remaining tracks by a long shot. If new editions of Built to Spill's Perfect From Now On or Keep It Like a Secret albums are ever issued, the song would be a most welcome extra track on either. Until such time, Built to Spill Caustic Resin is essential listening.
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AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina