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Explore EP

(Carpark; US: 23 Oct 2012; UK: 22 Oct 2012)

Vowels are pretty fundamental. You can’t really make English words without them. It’s more than a little symbolic then, that bedroom-pop outfit GRMLN has no vowels in the project name. GRMLN is one guy, Yoodoo Park, and his dream-pop on Explore EP is pretty standard surf-inflected pop. The guitars shimmer and echo the way so many do these days, and the vocals drift aimlessly, awash in reverb, and sound sweet without every pinning down distinct melodies. Song titles like “Coral”, “Patio”, and “Summer Nights” feel more like vague descriptors than interesting lyrical ideas. In the end, this is pop with no real foundation in tradition. It feels of the moment in that it borrows from very recent pop trends without adding much new. Park may explore his influences, and represent them just fine, but there’s not much new to find in these brief tunes, even if they sound pretty enough.


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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