park - "alligator!!"

truly beautiful five song cd of simple pop tunes. park does it up right with minimal bass progressions, catchy melodies, and casio beats. some might call it twee, i call it good songwriting. originaly released on the mighty blackbean and placenta label, now re-released in an edition of 200.

"car and driver"
"sailors take warning"
"mind for mistakes"


Lurking quite happily somewhere in the vast emo shadows of Nebraska's Saddle Creek label is little Unread Records, who put out mostly cassettes and vinyl of unknown bands. Shmat got a chance to listen to the one CD that Unread currently stocks, Park's 5 song Alligator!! EP. Originally released in the Black Bean and Placenta Tape Club, the disc at first seems to be only a dandy mix of casiofied semi-twee withTullycraft and Poundsign - like vocals and chord sensibilities. "Car And Driver" are "Mind for Mistakes" are definitely in that bouncy vein and Shmat could easily dance to these tunes. So, though highly pleased, he thought this might be the extent of Park's musical vocabulary.
But the Shmat found that an interesting thing about Park is that they are quite capable of throwing off the twee mantle and assuming a more somber sort of cloak. "Someday" isn't a ponderous dirge by any stretch of the imagination but it is definitely slow enough for the Shmat to reconsider his earlier pronouncement of Park as a Nebraskan Tullycraft. It's almost as slow and sparse as bands like Bedhead and Spain, albeit slightly more happy. One of the standout tracks on the EP is actually one of these moodier pieces, "Sailors Take Warning". The smooth driving bass and more serious structure of the song actually makes it sound a little bit like Pedro the Lion. In fact, it's very much in the vocal style of David Bazan of that band. The monotonic speaking that appears in the background in the middle of the song is really cool and understated, like slower Steven Malkamus vocals with less yelpeys. The Shmat really dug this song and overall thinks that this disc is worth looking into. - SHMAT