Those who think music has got just a little too clever for its own good lately may falter at the first few broken up bars of this EP, but let’s hope they’re patient as it quickly unfolds into something quite fantastic. These four songs have all the lo-fi brilliance (belying really quite clever production) of Grandaddy’s Under the Western Freeway and constitute a breath of fresh air just as bracing as that of the Californian beardies’ debut back in 1998.**
"Please don’t rob me, all I have are these songs and they’re really not of much value," he sings charmingly on 'Defibrillator', an immediately relevant tune about being scared to walk home at night that’s bound to resonate with anyone who’s got off the night bus to find a big yellow serious incident sign at the bottom of their road. When this segues into the more languid 'The Casual Terrorist' and its Oberst-esque guitar-and-ambient-noise- in-an-echoey-roomisms you’re pretty much sold already, even when you’re told _"you don’t get any more – you’re greedy."_
Before the modern-world ennui starts to get to you, 'Guys in Bands' is here to tell you that... well... guys in bands get girls, pulling off the age-old indie trick of coupling a dark lyric with a jaunty tune (with what sounds like the Clangers guesting at the end), just to mess with you. Top this off with 'In Business We Are Resigned' and its spacious musings on the market economy, and you’re left with less an EP than an uber-distilled and inventive mini album which, when it comes to putting a quite human perspective on urban living, is a bit more lucid than simply saying modern life is rubbish. With a long player bound to follow it won’t be a surprise to see Napoleon high up on 2006’s end of year best of lists. Even if he couldn’t conquer Russia.
9John Winters's Score