The Early November

The Acoustic EP

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One of the buzzed-about bands on famed indie rock label Drive-Thu Records, the Early November play a melodic and emo-oriented variation on the label's pop-punk sound. The band's debut, The Room's Too Cold, for example, contained ballads and string arrangements. The Acoustic EP follows that direction with its understated dynamics, crisp unplugged guitars, and the heartfelt singing and songwriting of frontman Ace Enders. The choice to cut an acoustic set isn't a surprising one and the album plays perfectly to the band's strengths. Enders' frail, passionate voice strains and cracks through confessional narratives of misunderstanding and self-doubt. His penchant for building drama and intensity is evident on such tracks as "Sunday Drive" and the lovely, restrained "Come Back." "Ever So Sweet" (which also opens their debut), is given full acoustic treatment here; while the freely phrased "I Want to Hear You Sad" is a fine example of Enders' ability to fuse bite and pathos. With only a few percussive touches throughout, The Acoustic EP is more of an Enders solo album, yet its quiet, soul-baring ethos should please fans of the band, and satisfy their hunger until the next electric full-length.

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