Of the five tracks on Jimmy Eat World's 2005 EP Stay on My Side Tonight, three are songs the band worked on during the recording of Futures but decided didn't work on that record. It is hard to see why they were left off, as they are as good as -- if not better than -- some of the more pedestrian material that did make the cut. Maybe it is the slightly less polished sound, and maybe it is the fact that they aren't surrounded by 50 minutes of similar-sounding songs, but the three songs have more life and power than one might expect. "Disintegration" is an epic dirge that builds impressively and ends with the chanted vocals that give the EP its name; "Closer" is a hooky, lightweight pop tune that harks back to the mood of Bleed American; and "Over," while slightly less impressive than the other two, is a decent emo ballad. The other two tracks are interesting but not vital. They gamely cover Heatmiser's "Half Right" but can't quite find the magic that Elliott Smith was so effortlessly able to conjure up. The Styrofoam remix of Futures' "Drugs or Me" is OK, with the vocals glitched into near oblivion and the tune bouncing along on a bouncy, broken beat. So there's nothing earthshaking, but fans will want to grab it, and those who were put off by the slick surface of Futures might take some solace in the slightly stripped-down sound -- and hope that Jimmy Eat World continue to shed their studio sheen by the time the next album is recorded.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra
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