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  Noon Under the Trees  
  The Rock*A*Teens  
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Yep, everyone's favorite reverb merchants have a new EP's worth of material on the shelves. Which is good, in the general sense of the word. But one must be forthright if one is maintain any semblance of critical respect from his peers, and in being forthright one must warn the potential consumer of the downfalls of said EP. It's called Noon Under the Trees, and it's not terribly bad by any means. It's just not particularly good, in the specific sense of the word, and at over $2 per song, it's not really worth the asking price. Maybe if the third track, I Don't Eat Sweets, wasn't so abysmally bad it would be worth it. But man, that song reeks.

Tracks one and two, These Starving Heartists and To Lady Ben and All Her Friends respectively, are solid enough. Not the best of The R*A*Ts catalogue, but good enough to bear repeated listens. Track four, a song called Inseparable, would be filler on a full length, which doesn't bode well for its inclusion on such a short release, but it's not bad. The final track is a pretty good song. It stands well with the best songs off of last year's Sweet Bird of Youth, at least, though not so well against better, older songs.

Which leaves us with four songs of merit and one four track recording session that somehow avoided its rightful place in the trash bin. That's $2.50 per listen able song, which doesn't even take into consideration the opportunity costs of having to deal with track three. Factor in those and you're up to something like $3.00 per decent tune. That's a bit much to ask, if you ask me. Which is sad. I think the EP is a terribly underused platform, and I think The Rock*A*Teens, as much as any band around, are perfectly suited to exploit the EP's unique formula by writing three or four very solid songs, somewhat interrelated, and releasing them as a short work.

Unfortunately Noon Under the Trees doesn't quite fulfill that notion.

Related Links:
  A complete evaluated discography of The Rock*A*Teens.  

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