Hey! Listen to Ebonivory!

The EP format holds many challenges; it's often a tempting escape for bands that mistake frequency of publication for quality. However, it also holds great potential for those who know how to wield it. Just like the 140 characters tweet, the shorter format of an EP often leads one to greater creativity, a distillation of force and purpose. When a good band releases an EP it can often give their music that necessary, final push into greatness. So it is with Ebonivory, a band whose sound is so emblematically Australian that you really don't need me to geo-locate them. More than that, they also have a good album from 2015, The Only Constant. But, a year after it, they've released an EP titled Ebonivory II which completely transcends it, providing their music the focus and momentum it needed in order to truly transcend.

The Dear Hunter – Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional

For the majority of the first four albums in the series, The Dear Hunter's Acts - Casey Crescenzo's sprawling prog rock opera in six parts - have been largely a story concerned with beginnings. Characters are in a seemingly perpetual state of movement, always attempting to escape or sidestep their problems in favor of the hopes of a new, better life. From the images of Ms. Terri fleeing for her life (and the life of her unborn son) away from the abuse she faced as a prostitute in Act I, to the titular protagonist - The Dear Hunter - running from home upon his mother's murder in Act II, to his then running away from his broken relationship with Ms. Leading off to Europe to fight in World War I in Act III (where he spent a period of time AWOL after fleeing the battlefield), and finally to his return to The City and assumption of a stolen identity in Act IV, the major action of these albums has centered around running away from conflict in favor of new beginnings rather than resolving old ones. The end of Act IV marked a critical turning point in the story, however, as The Dear Hunter, in a position of power as an elected official, was blackmailed by his nemesis and the story's main villain, The Pimp/Priest. That album ended on that reveal and cliffhanger, leaving listeners wondering where the story could possibly go from here.