Ever heard those early indie Devo recordings? The ones from before they signed with Warner Brothers and had Brian Eno produce their first album? They're an odd listen for anyone who heard them for the first time after the better-known major-label discs: they're more energetic, stripped down, and undeniably punkier, but those early tapes lack some of the personality that made them the spuds known and loved. The exact same statement applies to this reissue EP of the first two, way out of print singles by the Epoxies. The key songs here, "Need More Time" and "Synthesized," will be immediately familiar to anyone who's heard the Portland-based quintet: to this day, these 2001 singles are the cornerstone of the band's legend. "Need More Time" in particular is an instant new wave classic, quite possibly the finest two and a half minutes of the entire post-punk revival, but while this early take ups Viz Spectrum's metallic guitar attack, Roxy Epoxy's lead vocal lacks the hiccupping Lene Lovich-style quirks and breathless delivery of the superior take on the band's self-titled debut album, and Moxie Spectrum's essential backing vocals on the chorus sound comparatively thin and flat. The other two familiar songs, "Molded Plastic" and "Synthesized," fare about the same, but Synthesized is essential for fans for the inclusion of two B-sides that have never been re-recorded. Affectionate covers of a pair of new wave rarities, Adam & the Ants' early S/M-themed dirge "Beat My Guest" and Alice Cooper's 1980 bandwagon-jumper "Clones (We're All)," make clear the Epoxies' enormous and unapologetic debt to the days of spiky hair and plastic-rimmed shades, but they're performed with the same period-specific zeal as the originals.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason