Ecstatic Sunshine Freckle Wars

"Two guitars, two humans,” opens the press release for Ecstatic Sunshine’s first non-CD-R release — facts that should be matter-of-fact yet communicate much of the band’s character. Matthew Papich and Dustin Wong are the two early-20s Baltimore, MD humans in question. Having met in art school (or course) they approached their dual guitar jams early with a conceptual purity related to their studies: clean lines, no distortion, and much velocity. Freckle Wars offers a Reader’s Digest condensation of instrumental guitar rock from the surf of Dick Dale to the shores of Yngwie Malmsteen and back again. What immediately distinguishes the duo’s work is a soda-fizzy positivism at odds with most current spazzy guitar heroics on labels like Load Records. The next point is the one-mindedness of it all. Tracks like "Beetle-04” and "Tuscan” are like the post-rock version of a couple at a piano playing "Heart and Soul.” Fans of swell and crash metal may be driven mad by the absence of drums, especially given the frequent build-ups that suggest a swollen bubble begging to burst. Otherwise the album is a recommended antidote for those on bad mood music overload. (Carpark)