Bridges and Powerlines’ new “mini-album” (their term, it’s really a six song EP) finds them continuing in the same synth and guitar-laden power-pop vein as their first two full-lengths. This time around, they’ve scaled back just a bit on the symphonic pop ambitions of their previous album, Eve, and focused on the core four band members. The six songs here are each named after a neighborhood in Brooklyn, and all six of them have strong, catchy elements. Driving opener “Bushwick” not only has a great shout-along chorus (“We’ll find a new way!”), but it also has melodic and memorable synth and guitar lines.
The gently rolling “Williamsburg” starts with xylophones and violin, but builds to a very cool drums and electro-style synth duet in the middle of the song. “East New York” also starts off slow and quiet, and takes most of its five minutes to fully blossom into its regretful chorus—“I was young / And I was wrong.” The EP finishes out with “Red Hook”, a mid-tempo pop song that uses mostly piano instead of synth and features beautiful harmonies and backing vocals. All the songs on Better are comparable to the band’s best previous material, so putting together a mini-album of six good songs seems preferable to making a full album with subpar filler tracks. Well done, gentlemen.