The Stinking Badger of Java

Dermo: In a Highland Eden

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Dermo acts as something of a teaser for the Badger's second full-length album, offering up four songs from the album including "Acorn," a definitive reworking of an old tune from the band's back catalog. The EP shows the same unorthodox, serpentine songwriting and winding vocals that characterized the the Badger's previous music, all of which is entirely unique and inspired. And while it is not a straight departure, Dermo also blazes a few new trails for the band that shows them still reaching upward with their sound, constantly honing and growing, although to be accurate, they are evolving from a template that only adorned them in the first place. In addition to the guitar-bass-drums-organ ensemble and Alessandro Servadei's horn touches, the EP shows the band stretching out to include turntables, drum loops, and vocal samples, which only add intricacy and layers of texture to the music and could leave a listener peeling away the levels interminably. The music is still brooding, ominous, and mysterious, and there is so much implicit in the music. If forced to pigeonhole it, one might say the Badger sound approaches not only unconventional folk-rock, but folk-rock if all its conventions were erased and then rewritten, yet the band has always gone much further than pigeonholing allows, and Dermo shows them going further than even they previously have. A certain jazzy, cinematic feel permeates the EP, and it has the feel of a seamless film that grips you and won't loosen its hold. An exciting harbinger for the second album.