Excuse my following food metaphor but reviewing an EP is exactly like tasting an appetizer before the entrée. I had the pleasure of previewing CLOUT!'s surprisingly tasteful debut EP as cheesy as that may sound. I'll stop now with the culinary references because I definitely have more substantial critiques to say about this album.

When I see an album that only consists of a seven song track-listing, with four out of the seven songs being remixes I think it's a waste. I like my albums about twenty songs deep, because it's content worth picking up. I know this may sound like an attack but these guys proved me wrong. The album started out with 'Maxwell's O' which made me skeptical after this first listen. But by the time the second and third tracks rolled into one another, I was hooked. 'It's Too Late' and 'The Dodo Riddim' provide almost indistinguishable lyrics with non conventional instruments. The preview of these first three tracks are grimy, tribal and often distracting but for some odd reason, it works. CLOUT! certainly brings in a different approach with this debut that leaves my head all over the place. The second half of the EP are remixes of 'Maxwell's O.' These are just fantastic. With these closing tracks provided, I can see these guys have taken an electronic direction, but it's in a whole new light. The sounds, production and compilation of each song has a specific purpose. I feel and can see this album accompany a nightmare; it's drama at its best. At a distance I can hear traces of SALEM or These New Puritans, but with contemporary musical awareness with the use of hazy vocals.

With the first listen down I had an automatic rating for effort, but this album grew and the song choices were just right. The remixes were out of this world and a lot of fun. I'm now really looking forward to a full length because there's only great potential to come from this band.

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