Coming out like much of the alternative-rock that is popular at the current moment, The Lashes play a grungy, Sonic Youth-styled type of alt-rock with a synthesizer imposing itself on the music. Strong bass lines mark the first track, “Death By Mixtape”, which is fairly non-descript besides that. The first radio victory for The Lashes comes on “Ex-mas”, which is helped considerably from a very Darkness-like guitar solo. The guitar interplay works well during the aforementioned track, with a high and low element presenting themselves fairly equally. The splashy drums that lead off “Pop Song” provide a quick start to a track that would otherwise be pretty bland, a pretty true tribute to the Weezer side of the band. The minor amounts of synth playing through the track seems almost like an afterthought, something unfortunate since so much else could be done with an omnipresent synth line, especially alongside the sizzling guitar solos found on the track.
The vocals laid down on a track like “It’s Your Part” don’t fit into the larger dynamic created by the savage guitars and drums on the track; coming completely out of left field, Ben Lashes would sound better in a more antiseptic setting, not among the crunchy guitars that are present throughout the disc. “The Stupid Stupid” is a monument to missed chances – while the entire disc is aesthetically pleasing, there is very little interplay between the members of the band, which makes the disc sound an incredible amount more sloppy than it really is. Aside from having a solid, if not static general sound, the most interesting things about The Lashes come in the minutia found during the “Stupid Stupid” EP, including the aforementioned Darkness-esque guitar lines on “Ex-mas” and the synth noodling found throughout the EP.
“The Stupid Stupid “ EP shows a band that has some serious talent, being very proficient musically and fairly catchy in term of general ambience. However, there is nothing in the way of experimentation on ths disc, and as a result, the four tracks are like a tight scattershot – slightly different, but focused on the same exact area of the target. Now, I will be the first to admit that EPs are not the greatest material to review, and Lookout EPs provide even more of a problem, as the Washdown turned out to be one of the best bands on Lookout even after their EP proved to be fairly weak. My opinion: wait till The Lashes come out with a full-length and pick it up then. The Stupid Stupid just leaves listeners flat.
Top Tracks: It’s Your Party
The Lashes – The Stupid Stupid / 2004 Lookout / 4 Tracks / http://www.thelashes.org / http://www.lookoutrecords.com / Reviewed 01 October 2004