So Red So Red EP

[Self-Released; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: electro-pop, dance, glitch
Others: Add (N) to X, Cex, The Notwist, The Faint

So Red, alias Joe Williams, is a member of Cleveland Connect, a collective of electronic musicians from C-Town which includes moderately-well known artists like Girl Talk and Hearts of Darknesses and has collaborated with Twine, a group distinguished enough to earn a handful of laudatory reviews on Pitchfork. So Red veers toward the dance-pop end of the glitch spectrum, though his beats are at least as interesting (and usually more so) than melodically similar electroclash groups content to float by on hooks and attitude. Williams sings in an icy, fairly androgynous robo-tone that compliments the instrumentation, but it's nice to hear him occasionally stretch into a falsetto. Williams' singing is good enough to bear some emotion without embarrassing anyone, but perhaps we've already got the Postal Service for that shit. Because there are only 18 minutes of music on this debut EP, there's not terribly much to say. If any criticisms are to be made, they can only be directed at the slight sameness of the five songs; while each is catchy and interesting, the mid-tempo, foot-tapping pace of the music varies little from one track to the next. The last two songs here are my favorites -- "Copper Head Clark" rides a bouncy, big-tent beat and changes things up several times, while the album's last song is easily its fastest and catchiest. Backup singers would be a great finishing touch. So Red is a surprisingly good debut which hopefully will preface an even richer full-length.

1. Pellet Heads
2. Mud Head Mallory
3. Cupcake Kate
4. Copper Head Clark
5. Slush Buds