review: angels & airwaves’ “stomping the phantom brake pedal”

By Cody Robinson on 12/18/2012

Recently, Angels and Airwaves have been spending less time making pop songs and more time making films. Just like The Beatles made “The Yellow Submarine,” these guys have re-focused their energy on making moving pictures set to their music. Starting with feature film “Love” (2011) and continuing with newly announced project “Poet Anderson,” the band has been searching for an effective way to marry visual and audio media. Their latest two-disc EP, “Stomping The Phantom Break Pedal” reflects this shift.

UnknownArtist: Angels & Airwaves (previous: 2011’s Love: Part Two)                                                                               Release Date: December 18, 2012          (12/18/2012) Details: The space rock group’s fifth studio release comes in the form of a double EP, which the band says was influenced by British groups Radiohead, Pink Floyd, and U2                                                                                   Dingo Dictum: C

The EP consists of two discs: “The Score Evolved EP,” and “Love: Part Two Re-Imagined.” The first disc is pretty much what it says it is; just like any movie has a musical score, the disc’s 3 tracks were clearly created with film in mind. The song titles come from the numbers on a movie reel – “Reel 1 (Diary),” “Reel 5 (New Blood),” and “Reel 6.” Like most film scores, the music is almost entirely instrumental (and in this case largely experimental). It comes off as a kind of fusion of industrial and electronic sounds, with a synthesizer rig that was probably stolen from Nigel Godrich during the “Kid A” sessions. It’s a refreshing sound, even if it does tend to mimic Radiohead a bit.

The second disc, “Love: Part Two Re-Imagined,” consists of 5 remixed tracks taken from previous albums, “Love” and “Love: Pt. 2.” The remixes are creative enough; the problem is that the original tracks weren’t great to begin with. The real strength of “Stomping The Phantom Break Pedal” is in those 3 tracks on the first disc, and I can’t help but wish they’d spent more time in that experimental vein than on remixing old, somewhat bland tunes.  Δ

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