To get things started and throw everything out on the table, I am not a fan of Relient K. I have, though, had the distinct pleasure of an extended conversation with a few of the group's members and they are amazing gentlemen butů punk rock just isn't my bag. Your question might be, then why did you pick up their new EP, Employee of the Month? Great question. I purchased this for John, our web Van Gogh formerly known as Cor, and decided to take a listen before sending it away. Sadly, the world may now call this fickle indie rock critic, a Relient K fan.
Leading things off is "Trademark," an upbeat punk almost fast rock anthem that will be on their now highly anticipated (by me) record, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... But Three Do. "In Love With The Eighties (Pink Tux To The Prom)," also on the upcoming album follows along with the normal giddy RK feel but shows a true growth process in their songwriting and song making, adding some 80's keyboard that would make Boy George jealous. "Wit's All Been Done Before" brings another catchy punk flavor that stands up against the unoriginal media while "A Penny Loafer Saved, A Penny Loafer Earned" is true Ben Folds or Ben Kweller highlighting Matt Thiessen's highly under-appreciated piano play with a great shout-out to the Beach Boys and "Good Vibrations." Adding another track, never released to the public as the latter two, is "For The Band." Accordion play begins in originality and turns into a true anthem that should have made its way onto a full-length. A proper blueprint that ought to be followed by any Spiritually based band wanting to make quality music today, this leads into "Failure to Excommunicate." I'm not really sure why this is on the EP, but I have grown very fond of it's almost hair metal riffs and who knows, maybe The Anatomy of The Tongue In Cheek forlornly slipped through my musical radar.
The Employee of the Month EP has done its part and left a yearning for more. Relient K's new album appears to be a new horizon for the group with grander songwriting and more originality but the same punk background all their fans should know and love. If you did not have the distinct honor of buying this EP on a tour stop at the great Back to the Few Tour with the great Bleach, Holland, and Philmore, then there is hope. The disc was attached to select copies of The Anatomy..., so you may be able to go to your local Christian bookstore and pick this up. If Relient K keeps going the way they are going, they might just be the employees of all of next year.- Review date: 11/3/02, written by Blake Garris
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