If one of your smart friends dropped out of society and surfed, smoked (dope), and snarked his way into his own private world, you'd immediately assume he had become T.J. Miller. His standup comedy is hard to connect with, but it's oh-so-attractive to certain tastes, so consider that before considering this, because The Extended Play EP is a conceptual piece from a guy who stared death in the face (he had an arteriovenous malformation) and came out the other side overflowing with a wackadoo spirit. Besides messing with the whole "EP" concept (it's 41 tracks), T.J. does just the tiniest bit of standup here, preferring to fill these cuts with a slacker, suburban rap alter-ego that's like if Asher Roth, the Bloodhound Gang, Andy Milonakis, Kool Keith, and Tom Green had a love child named "DJ Stop 'N' Talk", aka T.J. Miller ("… aka the Stone Cold Killer, worked with all the big fives, still waitin' on Stiller/Been hustlin' since 03, got money for days, weeks even"). In this world, the voice of fellow comedian and regular guy Doug Benson could shatter the whole freakout, but his appearance on "SKIT - Voicemail #1" is some kind of time-bending, dimension-shifting trick, dropping listeners right in middle of the Twilight Zone. Word-play freak Bo Burnham ("king of the YouTube when you were on your mom's boob") is right at home here, joining for an absurd posse track and a lunatic rap battle, but bona fide rap group Ugly Duckling get the album's MVP award, hitting the sometimes actor with "I saw you in Superbad, you're a star," which is brilliant, because he wasn't in it. He was, however, in Cloverfield and decides to give up all the film's secrets within the album, right between all the rap stuff (most of the album), everything else (the nostalgia piece "Sometimes You Cry" is like the Squirrel Nut Zippers stalking you), and the short, surprisingly rich music ("Ritonello" is beautiful, rustic stuff). If it all sounds like Manna for weirdoes, The Extended Play EP will still baffle even those who frequently crave strange, and when "Balsa Wood" closes the album with just those two words in a deadpan delivery by Miller, it seems done only for Cloverfield-starring, arteriovenous malformation-surviving him. Still, these are in jokes some will really want in on, so check your ass and kiss your head goodbye.
The Extended Play EP Review
by David Jeffries