Local act does it themselves with new EP
There are plenty of bands, local and national, that attempt to retrieve the “indie” ethos: zines, merchandise, self-made music that’s good news for people who love bad news. But with genres rushing here and there with ridiculous names, it’s hard to weed out the chosen few who are in it for the good, (sometimes) clean fun. Little Rock’s own Ezra Lbs, an indie-punk outfit that’s become a favorite among the college set, has built their entire existence on this idea, and continues to deliver a pulsating, Descendents-like message with “Eepee,” a 10-track record released July 25 on Thick Syrup Records.
Ezra Lbs was formed in 2009 by Daniel Craig and Daniel Olah, who’d shared success with previous forays into music (Craig with solo projects, Olah with Ginsu Wives). Lucas Murray and Nathan Houser soon joined their efforts and after a few one-shot tracks released through online outlets, the band recorded its self-titled debut in 2012. The album, met with positive reception in the Little Rock scene through gigs and promotion, paid tribute to the funnier side of alternative and punk, and “Eepee” only continues this trend.
Judging from the eclecticism featured on the new record, these guys know how to meld together parts of songs from their all-time favorites. With pulsing fury Ezra Lbs delivers a product that channels alt-rock’s signature artists like the Dead Milkmen, Yo La Tengo and Lou Barlow’s Sebadoh. The diverse, sometimes humorous lyrics and passionate experimentation offer listeners a crash course in subgenre history, leaving behind cheesy songwriting in favor of more an appealing and accessible product.
While members combine influence and experience into a great record, the group’s gusto lies in its vibe. “Eepee,” unlike similar efforts made by local and national bands, retains a “basement tape” quality, the one treasure that could’ve been discovered in a mid-90s mass of mediocrity. Picture a cool friend or older sibling – perhaps a character akin to “Daria’s” Trent Lane – plucking guitar strings, unearthing bands like Sugar and American Music Club long before anyone could comprehend such creations. This is an experience Ezra Lbs resurrects, and it’s no surprise that tracks like “Saint Ignatious” and “No Means No,” which could have appeared on Blind Melon or Dinosaur Jr. records, give the EP its soul and offers promise to this young, great bunch.
Ezra Lbs’ “Eepee” is currently streaming on Spotify and can be ordered at Thick Syrup’s website. Physical copies and other merchandise are also available at live gigs.