While the three songs on this EP are somewhat different musically in their own ways, they are a welcome addition to the group’s output.
September was a month of surprises within the music community. U2 gave everyone their latest album for free, whether you wanted it or not, via iTunes. Thom Yorke foisted an album on an unsuspecting public via BitTorrent. And Canada’s July Talk entered the fray by giving Canadian fans a three song EP via iTunes. While the three songs that make up the For Your Bloodshot Eyes EP are available in only Canada, the tracks will be added as bonus materials to international releases of the band’s previously-released-in-Canada debut self-titled record, and that will include a release in America sometime in 2015. (And a deluxe edition of the record featuring these three songs is also now available in Canada via iTunes.) However, this surprise EP is meant as a stop-gap release in Canada while the outfit works on its second album. And while “Gentleman”, “Blood + Honey” and “Uninvited” are somewhat different musically in their own ways, they are a welcome addition to the group’s output. According to lead singer/songwriter and guitarist Peter Dreimanis, the songs “surround romantic binges, broken men that feed on female insecurity and drug-induced ego bullshit.”
What makes July Talk so appealing is that the very gruff Tom Waits-sounding Dreimanis trades off verses with the soothing sounds of female vocalist Leah Fay and it is a stirring concoction. “Gentleman” is notable in that it lurches, stops and starts, making it feel like the bang and clang of a Waits song during his ‘80s purple patch. “Blood + Honey” and “Uninvited” are quicker, more punky numbers, both clocking in at less than three minutes. All the songs are delectable, and, if you don’t already have the band’s proper album, it sure whets your appetite for it. That said, it’s hard to view these three songs as anything more than some bonus materials that are just being tacked onto something. Despite the similarities in thematic, they don’t really fit together musically; this feels more like a single with three songs than an EP. That said, the songs themselves, individually, are quite good, making this a rather pleasant surprise. We’ll see if this marketing gamble pays off, but, for the time being, Canadian fans get a little something extra while they wait patiently for a new full album. If you want it, go and get it. You’ll be happy that you did.