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Miles Kurosky

The Desert of Shallow Effects EP

(Majordomo; US: 9 Mar 2010; UK: 9 Mar 2010)

When we last saw Miles Kurosky six years ago, he was fronting the power-pop outfit Beulah. Since then, he’s kept pretty quiet. Now he’s back with a new album coming soon, and this teaser EP to hold us over until then. To hear these three songs is to know that Kurosky has had plenty of ideas during his hiatus, and he puts as many of them into practice as he can.

“An Apple for an Apple” is raucous, shifting pop. It opens with soft guitar picking and Kurosky firing off mouthfuls of words, then shifts into prog, with soaring keys and ringing guitars. It eventually settles into energetic pop, but it’s huge with horns and thundering drums. It’s the most exciting piece of this EP, as “I Can’t Swim” is solid, spacey pop, but the swings here aren’t as striking. “Dog in the Burning Building” is a nice shift, towards sped-up folk-pop, but it’s a little too goofy for its own good.

All in all, the three songs are decent, but they make it difficult to tell what the full-length release will be like. Still, for those who saw Kurosky in A Good Band is Easy to Kill—the film that documented the last days of Beulah—the bitter, exhausted guy you saw appears to be a thing of the past. Kurosky sounds energized here, ready to start something new, and if nothing else, that is the true accomplishment here.


Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.

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7 Mar 2010
The places where the album feels awkward or overdone do not erase the general sense that Kurosky has returned with a sense of determination.
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