February

Even Night Can't Tell You From a Star

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The chosen name of February's publishing company succinctly tells the tale of this frustrating release -- "dancy-trancy atmospheric syrup." Though the group would later release an accomplished debut LP (and promptly disband), Even the Night's consistent space pop never truly breaks free of its muddled production values. Richard Werbowenko (Girls Against Boys, Semisonic) engineered the EP, apparently through a foot-thick wall of pink fiberglass insulation. It's shameful, because February's dynamism is what makes them so exciting to listen to. It's difficult to swallow the songs on this record, which far exceed their presentation, when they're all wrapped up and delivered as one big sugary mentholated cough drop. One exception is "Comfy," which seems to benefit from the hazy production and only suffers the malady of an unconvincing performance (the band was young, feeling their way around -- it's forgivable, but only in hindsight). Even the Night ends on a high note, with a title track that does have some chutzpah, followed by an uncredited and thoroughly lovely piano piece. However, that bit is in turn trailed by exactly 19 minutes of cotton-candy space-drone guitar fluff that's pretty at first, but soon crosses into the realm of superfluity -- which, come to think of it, is a pretty good metaphor for the EP at large.

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