By: Eric G.
The four musicians that comprise The Letter E come from relatively similar musical backgrounds, hailing from such bands as Rex, June Of 44, Lungfish, and Sonora Pine among others. This EP was recorded just over two years ago in a building in Brooklyn, New York that has since burned down. These four instrumentals at first sound like a textbook case of post-Polvo math rock, but further listening reveals truly elegiac melodies and memorable riffs. As structured as instrumental post-rock can be, The Letter E veers down unexpected avenues that sound neither confusing nor deliberately showy, despite the complexity of some of the changes.
“On The Corner” is really the only track that imbues any sense of Polvo as it could have been an outtake from Exploded Drawing with its quirky stop/start foundational riff. The remaining three tracks call to mind the members’ other projects only peripherally. “Number 2” contains all the ingredients for a typical June of 44 song, but it’s more succinct and upbeat. “Goodbye” fully defines The Letter E’s sound, which is a busy mix of interweaving melodies, scaling riffs, and snaky bass lines. “Bess In Bejing” is the EP’s darkest track. The sound of waves crashing in the background isn’t as cheesy as it might seem. The dual guitar/bass interplay is mournful as it builds slowly into a cathartic crescendo and begins again.
The band is recording a full length with Shellac’s Bob Weston this spring for a fall release. That’s exciting news as this EP certainly indicates good things to come.