This four (five, including the bonus track Breakthru) track EP from Motopony is an enjoyably concise record, really what a good EP should be. The group are able to show off somewhat in these new songs, the first since their self-titled 2011 debut album.
Idle Beauty opens with Get Down (Come Up), a song that is pleasant enough. A song that has more of a power pop feeling to it, but retaining elements of their less conventional sound with the vocals of lead singer Daniel Blue. The tempo then shifts up into something a bit more interesting, with some prominent guitar making an appearance; overall, not a bad start.
Slower and more easy going is the second track About a Song, a track that has a chorus which sounds so ambiguously singable that you will eventually join in. It’s uplifting, and consistent without any real lulls. A good song, and showing a bit more of a maturity in their composition I fancy.
One of my personal highlights of the record is Buffalo Medicine, number three. Weird vocals over a shifting rhythm make this one you want to hear again, it’s got something of a bluesy tinge to it as well (wait for the guitars to pop up again). Reminiscent of Black Hole Sun, but with more of a lilt and jazz to it, this is probably the standout track of the record. A crashing end just gives it that enduring, climactic excitement to round of what will be a well-spent four minutes and thirty seven seconds on your part.
Fourth on the EP is She Is Spirit, a slower and more emotive song which, again, shows off a more composed side to the band’s songwriting. I can imagine this being their interval track at some festival performance, the opportunity for the crowd to draw a breath and enjoy this auditory respite. Whatever environment the group found themselves in while they were writing this record was spot on because the theme of this record has been a profound pleasantness. Might sound underwhelming, I know, but it’s more than the words alone suggest; She Is Spirit builds up unexpectedly from some song you might take as a nice, minimal effort to a dramatic, theatrical vocal crescendo.
At the start I said this record is an example of what EPs should be, and I stand by that. It’s a bonus, I’ve always found. Sometimes the afterthoughts of an album, but mainly a glimpse behind the scenes in a musical sense. That might not make much sense, what I mean to say is that albums are often accumulative bodies of work built up after many months and/or years of song-writing and trial & error. Personally, I’ve always viewed EPs as being opportunities for bands to try something a little different and often I’ve found them to be more expressive. Certain examples would be Ben Howard’s The Burgh Island EP and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Isis EP.
Motopony should be content, and I can’t see why they wouldn’t be. A collection of songs that are as good a showcase of what a band’s about as they could have hoped to produce, Ideal Beauty is an EP worthy of your time. At the very least, you won’t feel any worse for having tried it.