Don't Stop [EP]

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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares

One of the smarter bands blending rock and dance, Tussle understands that suggesting something is often more powerful than just stating it. Their second EP, Don't Stop, mixes disco, dub and rock, among other elements, but it seems that the more influences they blend into their music, the more their music ends up sounding like Tussle. For a group that incorporates two drummers, a bassist/melodica player, and a keyboardist, their sound is surprisingly minimal, suggesting an even sleeker, more groove-oriented version of Out Hud or !!!. The EP's title track is a perfect example of Tussle doing more with less; its undulating bassline, shifting percussion, and barest hints of melody create a cool, cavernous sound that makes its five-and-a-half minute length feel like two minutes. "Windmill" applies the same basic formula, but is more upbeat and overtly disco-influenced, throwing in a weirdly cheery vocal sample and trippy breakdowns for good measure; this sense of playfulness runs through all of Don't Stop, but never crosses the line into quirkiness. "Eye Contact," which appeared on Tussle's first EP, appears here in a more abstract version, emphasizing its unsettling percussive touches, which include clanking metal and cascading bongos. "Soft Pink Truth (a.k.a. Matmos' Drew Daniel")'s aptly named "Disco Hijack" remix of "Windmill" turns the track overtly disco without sacrificing any of its strangeness, adding fuzzed-out and phased bass and flamboyant keyboard arpeggios to the original version's odd breakdowns. Likewise, Stuart Argabright's retooling of "Don't Stop" is busier and more immediate than Tussle's version, with a bright, complex beat that still retains the track's almost tribal pulse. While they're not necessarily improvements over the original tracks, both the remixes are entertaining and offer slightly different spins on the band's truly intelligent dance music. Between this EP and Eye Contact, Tussle has already made a name for themselves as one of the most promising bands straddling the divide between rock and dance; their first full-length should be just as impressive.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Tussle 05:32 Amazon
2 Tussle 03:43 Amazon
3 Tussle 03:44 Amazon
4 Tussle 04:01 Amazon
5 Tussle 05:20 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick