Now that the naughties are behind us Tomatrax has decided to reflect on some of the best releases over the past decade. We will start by looking at our favorite 30 EPs (those mini albums that go for 15-35 minutes). As is always the case with these lists we will have undoubtedly left some of your favorite EPs off the list so feel free to tell us about your favourite EPs of the last decade and what made them special!
The debut self titled EP from Sydney’s five piece The Oceans heads up the top 30. This is a very impressive collection of atmospheric tracks that mix grunge and Eastern sounds in well. Their sound is reminiscent of bands like Soundgarden and Jane’s Addiction. They are able to get a good and original sound out of their guitar and use a lot of interest effects with the vocals.
The music here has a heavy funk sound in the vein of early Red Hot Chili Peppers. The guitar has a lot of life and creates an interesting sound while the solid drums and bass help cement the vibe. This is led by solid vocal deliver and some clever lyrics. This is a very strong EP full of energy, funk and a big sound. There is no filler or throwaway moments as all six tracks are solid offerings.
Streamer Bendy have put out their own brand of hard rock sounding something like like the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Chrissy Amphlett on vocals. The EP shows off a range of tunes from the sweet pop sounds of Minnesota to the full on barrage of funk-rock energy of Boy oh Boy. Erinn Swan’s voice is utterly amazing as she pulls off an amazing range of sounds in delivering her sharp witted lyrics. These guys are clearly trying to have fun while playing. This results in a very entertaining EP!
Sickboy have hit upon that marvelous recording balance that eludes so many independent bands. This EP captures all the energy and passion of lo-fi garage-trash in a recording that is absolutely top quality. The rawness, attitude and song-craft of The Clash combined with one of the maddest, most ridiculous Jesus & Mary Chain-esque guitar breaks you’re ever likely to hear.
This was the first release from the band of former members At the drive in and Engine Down. The carried on from where their former groups left off putting together an energy packed rock release with four solid tunes. This led the way to many more great releases over the decade.
Perth’s Sleepy Jackson’s fourth release firmly put them on the list of quality Australian indie artists of the naughties. With poppy pop tunes like This day, rougher rock tunes like Cavities and softer melancholy tunes like the title track this EP was full of variety and colour!
EP number two put Wokingham six piece on the musical map with their own brand of heave grunge rock. Over the four tracks the music goes from having a huge wall of energetic guitars to darker laid back sounds moving from each vibe seamlessly. There are all sorts of interest sounds and textures with no boring moments to be found.
Canberra’s Little Smoke have a stoner rock sound in the vein of bands like Kyuss or Helmet but they also add their special touch to give it an Australian edge. They are also able to create a great atmospheric vibe to the sound to make you feel as if you’re out in the middle of the desert.
Over the four tracks Malowski have been able to capture a raw energetic sound that you would have heard from Garage Rock bands of the earlier 80s and has since gone missing until now. They have also managed to develop their own style, which is tight and concise.
Another promising debut from a promising new Australian band. Over the 5 songs on offer the Kissengers manage to create a bright and colourful collection of infectious pop tunes that are likely to get you nodding away.
Bernard have an amazing sound in which they can be soft and quiet at one moment and then hard heavy and rocking the next. When they are being heavy they are full on and it’s hard to refrain from head banging. Donna Warrillow is one amazing vocalist! At some times she is all soft and sweet at other times she is loud and aggressive. While there are only three tracks on offer, all of them are of high quality making this a very solid EP!
A very brutal collection of 7 hard hitting songs. Each song is full of hard hitting intensity and power. All songs bar the closing track are under 5 minutes, allowing the tracks to stay tight and retain interest the whole way through.
Sawtooth saw Halou at their absolute peak! With a combination of experimental dream pop/shoegazing sounds topped by Rebecca Coseboom beautiful vocals this was one breathtaking release full of amazing soundscapes!
This is where the gloomy yet beautiful sounds of Montreal’s Arcade Fire all began. Each of the seven tracks takes on an amazing journey covering all sorts of vibes and textures with a lot of experimentation and interesting sounds as a result.
This was the debut offering from Reading three piece Nexus Bloom. The band has a dirty punk sound in the vein of bands like the Rammones and the Stoogers and add their own edge by incorporating other styles into the sound. Over the 8 tracks the band covers punk, ska, folk and rock elements and managed to pull them all off successfully.
Alice mixes electronica and indie elements and pulls its off brilliantly. She plays a large range of instruments from the guitar to the Synthesizer. In addition Alice has an amazing voice that is strong, full of passion and infectiously gorgeous all at the same time. This is well worth checking out if you like indie music with an electronic twist!
RPB’s debut EP features 6 songs which cover a lot of musical ground including psychedelic, indie / shoegazing and rock elements. The result is something that drifts around with familiar sounds here and there but overall something with the bands special mark on it. If you like the hazy shoegazing sound produced by the likes of Sonic Youth and Ride then this record is well worth checking out.
This is exactly how rock should sound, loud, fast, heavy and completely raw! With so much half baked rock going round these days it is exciting to hear a new band put out something that has so much energy and passion packed into 5 brilliant tracks. If you like the sound of vintage punk or garage rock then this EP is well worth checking out!
This is the loudest and angriest music Les Carter had put out since his days with Carter USM. On offer was the political dark humored It’s about the oil George, the even darker anti-drinking anthem Beer scooter and the hard rocking Innes. Abdoujaparov put out a large volume of great EPs over the ’00s but this was by far their best!
This was release number two for The Antlers put together while it was still Peter Silberman’s one man band. The eight tracks all have a rather meloncholly vibe with a progressive folk sound. A huge quantity of melodic ideas are packed into just under 27 minutes with all kinds of colour and texture on show.
We Yes You No are one of the most unusual bands to surface in the last few years. Apparently forming via answering each others classified advertisements. The music is similar to artists such as Radiohead or Muse but at the same time they really are going out and doing their own thing. Each song is an epic journey that covers all sorts of ground. This was EP number two from the band and saw them develop their sound to something more settled and polished but still managing to have the eerie and edgy elements that made them stand out from the crowd!
Part two of the EP series that saw Cog emerge to become one of Australia’s leading metal acts of the Naughties. Over the five tracks the three piece put out an amazing sound scape of dark melodies and experimental/progressive metal. The release is full of energy and atmosphere with no padding to be found!
An amazing debut release that shows a lot of promise for whats to come. With only two members they have produced sounds that some bands with 3 or 4 members could only dream of producing and while there are no vocals they are able to put out more emotion than many bands with a voice.
There is only one really bad thing about this EP, and that’s that it is the last ever CD Season will ever put out! Using instruments only the band explore all sorts of beautiful sounds and textures over the four stunning tacks on offer.
Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine teamed up with Jon Theodore from the Mars Volta to produce this hard hitting EP! Over the 5 tracks on offer, the duo put out the level of passion and energy that their previous bands have been famous for. Each track is a standout with no filler whatsoever!
Super Massive are a 4 piece from Sydney who produce their own brand of dance music that has musical depth and catchy tunes. While the whole EP has a strong dance vibe, the band takes a different musical direction in each song and succeeds each time. This is a perfect example of how to make music that is dancy and radio friendly but also has creativity and musical depth to it.
Clinkerfield seem to be able to take on any musical style and pull it off with ease. Over the 8 tracks the band manage to cover a fair range of styles from country/rock to pop and metal. They demonstrate a strong ability to tackle all these styles successfully. Jimmy Stewart has a great vocal range that can be soft and dark (No More Thoughts), loud and powerful (I Watch Them Burn), bright and poppy (Because I Can)… he even manages to sound like a horn on Mac Attack.
Continuing from their 2007 album Fear of a Blank Planet, Porcupine Tree further explored their epic brand of dark melancholic progressive Rock/Metal. Each track goes off in all manner of dark twists and turns. The creativity and talent in the musicianship here is utterly breathtaking covering all manner of amazing sounds and vibes!
This is a perfect example of how much can be achieved with only 3 musicians. Over the seven tracks Sickboy cover a good mix of heavy and soft moments and pull them all off brilliantly. There is a lot of raw energy in each track giving it a lot of life. If you want to hear some quality music then you should check out this CD!
and the EP of the decade is….
For anyone who was worried that the music of the 21st century would be boring and unoriginal, Gelbison’s debut self titled release was the perfect cure! This Bondi four piece came out of nowhere with their very own brand of progressive/shoegazing indie rock. The release was put together in a very spontaneous fashion allowing for all sorts of sounds, textures and vibes to be explored, all of which were pulled off with exceptionally colurful flair. There is not a dull moment to be found on this EP. Over the five tracks the band manage to cover more musical ground and creative flair than some bands manage in their entire career!