DATE BREAKDOWN: The Media – “Skewed EP”

File Under: Avant-Garde, Experimental, Alt

Last week, The Media courted my ears with the Skewed EP. Never knowing quite what to make of the whole experimental avant-garde genre, I knew I was going to be out of my element. In my limited exposure I’ve seen the sound go two different ways: there’s the godawful Avant-Abstact or whatever they called themselves from Todd Barry’s Crowd Work Tour, and then there’s the stellar Crush Kill Destroy from the now defunct Makoto Recordings. Thankfully, The Media leans closer to the latter, although more rowdy and less polished.

The Skewed EP implements a lot of repetition and more speaking than singing, but within its confines there are clear bursts of creativity. Opener “Electricity” is solid, and provides a good idea of what to expect in the next three songs. The guitar-work at the end of the track is one of my favorite moments on the EP and leads rather well into “Living Things,” which in my opinion is the EP’s strongest song. 

“Notion” feels like what should be the standout track, but after listening to it for a week+, I see it as more of a misstep than success. It’s certainly the most interesting and dynamic of the four songs, but the vocals just aren’t working for me. Vocally, the entire EP has a dose of exaggerated attitude, but it’s contained enough to work. “Notion” pushes the intentionally emotive nature a bit far, at least for the first minute, because once “pie-in-the-sky notion” comes in I’m pretty much back on board.

Closer “Waiting, Buzzing” puts a stronger emphasis on the instrumentation, which leads to a great payoff. It’s the second strongest song, and completely washes out any bad taste that “Notion” left behind. The amount of creativity that exudes from the band’s own repetitive confines on this track is remarkable.

What The Media does exceptionally well is overlap contrasting sounds that feel like they should completely clash and make ears bleed, but instead leave behind an overall pleasant experience. It’s like a magic trick, and I’m not staying it’s perfectly executed, but it’s certainly enjoyable. 

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Highlights include: Living Things and “Waiting, Buzzing

Listen to Skewed EP here.

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Going on a blind date with Skewed EP:

3/5 stars

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