Various Artists

Self-Portrait [EP]

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This is the second in the series of Permafrost seven inches that features four very fine acts, all falling under the emo/math-rock category. Without any sight of disappointment, all four selections provide melodic, aggressive pop complete with clear, high-pitched vocals and squeaky but soothing guitar leads. North of America stand out the most with more of a straightforward, verse-chorus-verse rock approach that doesn't give way to any quiet breakdowns or softer, sensitive moments. Still, even if the remaining three featured on Self-Portrait similarly concentrate on the aforementioned sound, it doesn't mean that a lack of originally kills their catchiness. With that, there's not one bad apple to be found here.

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