David Bazan Fewer Moving Parts

To hold fans over until the release of his next full-length, David Bazan delves into lyrically rich pop terrain here. The Fewer Moving Parts EP features five songs with a full range of guitar, bass and drums behind Bazan'’s voice. The last half of the EP, which originally came out in limited quantities in 2006, features the same five songs stripped down to acoustic versions. In many cases, the musical arrangements shift noticeably and the starker delivery provides for more engaging listening than the full-band tracks. Although he’s retired the Pedro the Lion moniker, Bazan continues to focus heavily on storytelling in his writing, meeting with varied results. On the title track, Bazan provides an interesting and amusing examination of his musical career, while "Backwoods Nation” takes some overly bombastic shots at frat boys, rednecks and U.S. foreign policy. Despite its flaws, Fewer Moving Parts shows some absorbing sides to Bazan'’s writing. (Barsuk)