Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Bon Iver's Blood Ban EP gets the review treatment

Bon Iver came rushing out of the darkness from a remote cabin in Wisconsin sometime around 2007 with the album For Emma, forever ago. At this point the band was simply Justin Vernon, forlorn singer songwriter who lived in isolation to bring 2007s answer to the likes of Iron & Wine and to rival Sufjan Stevens, who's rather lazy album production has left a perpetual question mark hanging over his head.
Now its 2009, the beginning at least and
Bon Iver is now a three piece with Mike Noyce and Sean Carey in tow. The band has chosen to mark the beginning of the year with an EP entitled Blood Bank, 4 tracks of melancholic 'neo' folk about [perhaps] lamenting past loves or future lovers.
Firstly, there is no deviance here,
Blood Bank could be another 4 tracks off For Emma... and it just seems like another 'why did they bother?' EP, that bands feel the need to release from time to time just to stay in the game, or make money, whichever comes first. Don't get me wrong, Blood Bank isn't bad per say, in fact the first three tracks are nice and neat little slices of folk ramblings, it's just that, in an age of downloading and more demand on content from the still-loyal consumers out there, releasing a 4 track EP seems a bit like a piss take.
The band may have won a lot more hearts by perhaps putting up the EP for free download, at least rewarding those once loyal. Instead I think people with downloading skills [so, nearly everyone] are going to think twice about buying the next full length release for Bon Iver, simply on the basis of taking the piss with this EP.

Now let me recap briefly before this turns into a rant about downloading and the industry doing nothing to reward those still loyal to buying music.
Blood Bank isn't bad, the first three tracks, as I've said, are sweet slices of the folk dribbles we have come to expect since For Emma... and fans won't be disappointed. Things get hairy on the last track Woods with the Cher-ish vocals, but the less said about that the better, and who knows, maybe I was perpetually scarred by that vocoder all those years ago hence the sound of it drives me into psychotic spins.

So, this is 3 tracks of nice folk from one of the better singer songwriters of the last few years. Worth a spin.

Review by Patrick Fennelly


ludicrouspeed said...

OMG, ur head is up ur arse!

Releasing an EP is fine!!! Maybe they didn't have time, material etc etc to make a whole album. There is a whole bunch of reasons...

I agree track 4 is bizarre... But come on, its an EP, ur allowed to be a bit OTT and weird on an EP

Cannon Riggs said...

This is one of the few EP's that I WOULD buy. First of all, it is fantastic. Second, to download this EP for free is a total dick move. The music industry is already bad, imagine how it is for an indie band like Bon Iver. They don't deserve it. I bought it. And I am completely satisfied that I did. It is awesome.