Playing Enemy Ephemera

This three-song stopgap EP, as the PE write their next album, is an interesting little aside for an infamous band formed of near-legendary ones (Rorschach, Kiss It Goodbye) that never seems to be credited the respect they deserve. Regardless, opener "John Q. Russia” is pure Ceasarean-era Playing Enemy, creating a dense, dark, discordant world of scratching riffs, bellowed vocals low in the mix and rhythmic repetition, recalling the glory of KIG and Voivod, with their decaying chords, and even sideswipes Sonic Youth’s "Bull In The Heather” with some discordant guitar plucking. But follow-up "Must Bring Own Weapon” is a stripped-down drums, bass, keyboard (or heavily treated guitar), and vocal number that seems terribly out of character but is interesting, sounding more machine-like in its drumming, with its Neurosis-like vocals overtop. And "You’ve Got To Be Crazy” (a Pink Floyd cover), at over eight minutes, gets the full PE makeover, but isn’t as grating as PE’s original damage can be. But even at its near 18-minute running time, this EP isn’t enough. (Escape Artist)