EPs really don’t get enough credit. People will often overlook them in favor of LPs – when I look at music articles that list hot new releases, it’s almost always made up of albums or singles promoting an album. But really, a well-crafted EP that blows you away in the short span of twenty minutes deserves just as much hype as a full-length.
For example: America Part Two’s incredible AP2-niverse. I’m not going to mince words here, I need you to know right off the bat that this is a fantastic collection of songs. The tracks here offer emo, grunge, blues, and post-hardcore; it’s equal parts visceral, humorous, and cathartic. It’s a rallying cry awash with crunchy guitars, acoustic twanging, driving percussion, and versatile vocals.
I’ve been eatin’ shit/It tastes like politics/And this is it/I’m dyin’ in my basement
Something that’s immediately striking about this EP is how well the songs flow together. It may actually be a disservice to call it a “collection of songs,” because it was clearly made with the intent to create a smooth, whole listening experience. Yes, when hearing the singles alone, you’ll still be impressed, but a song like “The Same” is enriched when you hear it transitioned in from “13 Minutes.” “Feel The Break” is that much better when you hear the opening lyrics “Cut your eyes” after “Horse 2” fades out with a distorted hiss.
The EP opens with “13 Minutes,” kicking the project with an acoustic guitar-laden opening and tender vocals. As the song progresses, it gradually crescendos, adding distorted guitars and a thrumming bassline. Just when you think you get the shtick of the song structure, though, a ripping guitar solo enters the picture, accompanied with more primal vocals and screams in the background. A solid beginning, for sure, and it only goes up from here.
It then transitions into “The Same,” AP2-niverse‘s second single. Kicking off with a big YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, the song keeps that energy from the last track going. The song starts off fairly straightforward, but again throws in a curve ball when a deep voice delivers a spoken word interlude.
Next up we have the lead single, “You Are All (…Splatter),” a raucous track laden with distortion and cues from the post-hardcore scene. The group’s personality really comes through here with some of the sillier lyrics (“I’m a sappy dick! Ain’t no punk rocker!” and “I’m feeling sick, my insides just had a kid!“). But even with the dashes of humor, the song is vicious, with the repeated lines, “NO ONE IS GOING TO COME HELP YOU, YOU ARE ALL…!“
After such a bombastic song, we dip back into the mellow with “Horse 2,” which opens with an amusing little bossa nova intro. This is perhaps the best track on the EP, and encapsulates the diversity that the trio nails so perfectly. The song is equal parts powerful grunge and dallying blues; equal parts humorous and deadly serious.
A great moment here is when the track builds up to the roaring lyrics, “EVERY ONE OF YOU SAD SACKS OF SHIT, GET THE FUCK OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING! BEFORE THIS FUCKING LIFE LEAVES YOUR EYES!” It then cuts into a moshable breakdown before dipping right back into the acoustic loll.
Everything wraps up with “Feel the Break,” another song that keeps you on your toes with its varied tempos and genre-defying arrangements. The music video for this track released along with the EP, and you can watch it below.
There isn’t a second wasted on this EP, and the passion that must have went into it is apparent. It’s a release that truly needs to be listened to as a whole to really appreciate, and it better be on some Best Of lists this year right alongside all those LPs that get listed!
If anything, it’s totally going on ours.
America Part Two’s AP2-niverse is out today (May 26th, 2022). Listen to it wherever you get your music, and check out their upcoming tour dates here. 📷 Header image by Abby Clare.