Ee - "Ramadan"
(Curry 2001, EE5471/c099)
From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)
Debut album from a heretofore unheard by me Bay Area indie group (I live close by). The opener, "Sutro (heroin jazz mix)" is mellow acoustic indie rock, but the jazzy (hence the mix, I guess) drumming actually helps a lot to make it a more interesting listen than it might otherwise be. Most of the early tracks ("Asian Gangsta Kids", "Ramadan") follow a similar formula, although I liked 'em better. The words "breezy" and "laid back" came to mind as I listened. At the halfway point ee cranks up the electric guitars a bit, and some of the punchier songs, such as "Wrong Song" reminds me of such groups as Archers of Loaf. For the most part this is pretty light musically, but it goes down smooth. Also the songs are pretty mature and heartfelt, steering clear of the hyper cute clichéd BS that so dominates the indie rock scene, and for this they deserve kudos. This is the kind of thing that is accessible enough that it could easily be on commercial radio if wasn't so thoroughly straightjacketed to death by corporate assholes. Apparently the band has gone through some serious line-up since recording this material, with guitarist/vocalist Tobin Mori as only original member remaining. The new lineup includes former Bitch Magnet/Seam guy Sooyoung Park on guitar and keyboards, a choice that isn't entirely out of line with some of what I hear on Ramadan. There is also a new EP out on the Asian Man label with the new lineup.
For more information you can visit the Ee web site at: http://www.eetheband.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Ee the Band; PO Box 3455; Saratoga, CA 93070.
Reviewed by Brian Faulkner