R.E.M. – No Bad For No Tour EP

See, that doesn’t mean it’s good, title of EP. That means it has more than the minimum standard of decency for a record, sure, but it doesn’t make it a good EP! If I tried to play the piano and played something a third of the way decent and said “not bad for no talent or training!” you wouldn’t exactly invite me to come play again, wood you? No, you wouldn’t. But your place sounds nice, if it has a piano. Maybe your building has a pool too. Invite me over. Please. I’m poor. Too poor to visit my friends in other city, and I feel like a bag of ass about it. But I costed it and I just can’t afford it! Nothing else to say about that, Jack, except that it makes me want to eat this whole plastic container of scotch bonnet sauce in self-recrimination. In conclusion, I wasn’t looking for “not bad” out of my EP, my minimum standard was “good.”

And what do you know, this isn’t actually good. It is, however, not bad. But mostly not that good. This is a promo EP for Reveal, so naturally the EP centers around that album’s songs, so naturally it’s pretty pedestrian and bland. There’s both studio (edit!) and live versions of “All The Way To Reno” which both suffer from “All The Way To Reno” having a chorus that isn’t up to REMmy standards, “She Just Wants To Be” (see last song), a couple nice enough oldies that get performed often (“The One I Love” acoustic and “So. Central Rain”), and “Beat A Drum,” another Reveal song, this one a nice piano track that has no annoying chorus in that it has no memorable melody at all, despite having vocals throughout.

This is all just another release, but it reminds me, again, that R.E.M. can be a great band emotionally (like the two oldies featured here) or politically, in late life they’ve chosen to blandly tell stories that aren’t about either. Or maybe “Beat A Drum” is, but who fucking cares? The output can be great, but…ugh, who cares about some girl going to Reno to be a star, or a song to be played in slo-mo over an old man in a swamp? Or a girl who just wants to be? Guh, give me an ounce of aggression, and if you’re going to be content you’d better kill that contentment and make me want it. This just makes me happy that I don’t give a shit.

5 / 10


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