Focus On The Background is a rare nugget: an oft-overlooked indie EP that actually represents a key step in the Mysteries Of Life's evolution. The six songs are the first showcase of the band's second lineup, featuring Kenny Childers on bass and LonPaul Ellrich on percussion and additional drums. Chief songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Jake Smith and drummer Freda Love remain the creative core of the band, which shows its maturity well on songs like the spirited send-off "Wish You Well" and the chugging "Something's Wrong." Childers contributes and sings lead on "Shiver," but the EP's real centrepiece is an almost note-perfect cover of the Talking Heads' "Naive Melody," which demonstrates well the Mysteries' aptitude for combining relentless rhythm with sweet melodies.
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AllMusic Review by Troy Carpenter