As a reminder of what originally brought Chin Up Chin Up together, the Chicago-based band has re-released this self-titled EP, where the song titles are long and catchy. Originally released in 2002, the EP is a fascinating showcase of the band’s ability to cross so seamlessly into various audible settings. But it also highlights the band’s transition from making avant-pop songs to making the moodier, more shuddering songs that comprise 2004’s We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers.
The dreamy shuffle of the opener “Collide the Tide” makes for delightful yet eerie essence. Fans of early Modest Mouse albums (back when the band was on the Up label) will bask in “Fuck You, Elton John,” which swarms ever so gently with its ethereal keyboard and organ lines. The band members even manage to shake out their indie-pop jitters on “For All the Tanning Salons in Texas.”
“The Soccer Mom Gets Her Fix” contains a nominal dance pulse with dreamy flourishes reminiscent of the Stone Roses, and things even get flat-out psychedelic with “I’m Not Asking for a Tennis Bracelet.” “Pillage the Village” is beautifully haunting, and some scampering electronica reminiscent of the Postal Service shows up on “We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers,” which later became the title track to the band’s debut.
But it’s the folk gems such as “Falconz and Vulcanz” that serve as EP’s high point. With such a colorful array of sound, Chin Up Chin Up EP is a perfect album for new and seasoned fans alike.
Virginia, Don’t Drown (MP3)
Pillage the Village (from EP) (MP3)
For All the Tanning Salons in Texas (from EP) (MP3)