The Meyrin Fields EP
is just a few scraps from the recording studio floor, but some of the quirkier moments find Mouse and Mercer at their absolute best. Broken Bells deliver a welcome digestif to their already excellent debut record, just in time to keep fans interested in this specific pairing (as Brian Burton moves on to other projects).
"Meyrin Fields" is the right foot, squeaking along with Mouse's signature staccato futura as James Mercer cries a cathartic refrain. It's the most upbeat Fields
gets, but it's not the most electric tune; the instrumental "An Easy Life" is reminiscent of the pumped-up simplicity of early acid rock, and closer "Heartless Empire" shimmers with distorted fuzz and an epic melodic arc. It's somewhat clear why the tracks didn't make it on Broken Bells
, beyond the right on par "Windows" (but somewhat including it), the tracks sound a little left of center when compared to the careful craft of "Vaporize" and "The High Road", two examples of tight writing and clear structure that draw heavily from Mercer's work with The Shins. On Fields
, the two seem more playful, more carefree with their actions.
As with most post-album EPs of leftovers, each cut offers further insight into the kooky cogs that power this duo's collaboration. It's a terribly interesting machine, made of two distinct artists bouncing off each other to create something infinitely unique and interesting. By now we know, it's what Danger Mouse does best with his projects — pushing established sounds into opposite territories to (hopefully) create a measurable reaction. Let's hope this experiment continues, because it's working.
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