The Breeders – Fate To Fatal EP The Breeders – Fate To Fatal EP

Breeders Fate To Fatal

Breeders Fate To Fatal

As far as I’m concerned, The Breeders are the reigning champions of the two-minute pop song. I wasn’t quite certain before, but this new EP solidified their rightful place on the pedestal in my head. Opening song “Fate to Fatal” exuberantly joins the ranks of previous solid gold pop masterstrokes such as Pod’s “Doe,” Last Splash’s “Divine Hammer,” and Title TK’s “Huffer.” Everything’s there. The impossibly woven, circular songwriting. Their thrift store clean guitar tones. The fumbling, charming guitar leads. And of course, the doubled voices of those fantastic Deal sisters, their cigarette-worn throats scraping across the high notes of the chorus’s party chant with alarming conviction. That’s right, this is a party song. Well, to be fair, it would probably be more at home playing over a hot afternoon barbecue, ideally one that features a water balloon fight, than at your next wild house kegger (the same conditions that applied to their breakthrough “Cannonball”). While relaxed and playful, the song’s strict, tight song structure keeps it from fully reaching “slacker” status. Basically, it’s a winner.

The rest of the EP feels comparatively spare. The bizarrely minimal “The Last Time,” featuring lead vocals by Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan, takes several listens before it fully makes sense. While reminiscent of the more sparse and incomplete-sounding song collages from Title TK, “The Last Time” is ultimately more purposeful, and probably more enjoyable because of it. The Bob Marley cover “Chances Are,” though a strange choice compared to their previously recorded cover songs by the likes of Guided by Voices and Sebadoh, feels right at home as the Deal sisters strip it down to two acoustic guitars and two voices, resulting in a surprisingly gorgeous standout. The only real disappointment on this EP is the last song, “Pinnacle Hollow.” For a band that is so defiantly resolute and economical, their choices on this one are a bit baffling. A single electric guitar strums for several minutes over two fairly uninspiring chords until vocals come in, after which very little more happens. Eventually clocking in at five and a half minutes, the song never achieves much of anything.

While this EP isn’t quite as succinct as, say, their Safari EP, it does make for a pretty neat little package. And if you can manage to get a hold of the limited vinyl pressing, the hand-made packaging will totally make the release worth it for even the most casual Breeders fan, that is, if the title song somehow fails to do the trick.

Track Listing
1 Fate To Fatal
2 The Last Time
3 Chances Are
4 Pinnacle Hollow

The Breeders - Fate To Fatal EP, reviewed by Squeri on 2009-05-04T06:00:02-07:00 rating 3.8 out of 5

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