the Playthings - "The Black & White EP"
Independent Release

This is an impressive debut offering from The Playthings. The Black & White EP is also a collectors item - you can get it in either white or... yellow. I'm not quite sure why that is. It's also more of that alt/pop rock that our area seems to produce in such great abundance - but with a nice twist on it. The Playthings have produced some original tunes that utilize some interesting keyboard effects to compliment some killer vocal harmonies.

Sadly, even for an EP, this disc is just too short. Actually, let me correct myself on that: These four songs just get me ready for more. It's a common problem with EPs... they warm you up, rock out, and then just abruptly end, leaving you craving more great tunes like these four here.

They're incredibly catchy songs, as well, and they stick with you long after the disc ends. "Let Me In," the first track on the disc, just rocks out. The heavy bass fuzz from Jenny Heart in the background gives it a really danceable feel. The vocal harmonies also make it really stand out.

"Rock N. Roll Died" has an intro that kinda' reminds me of R.E.M.'s "Low." But that's actually pretty true of the entire track. This one has a very "early-R.E.M." sound to it, and it's done well.

"Tryin' Not To Think" isn't quite as well-composed as the rest of the tracks, but it's not bad either. "Syrian Rue" is the odd man out on this EP. It's more of a rocker - with heavier use of distortion on the guitars.

The Black & White EP, all in all, is a pretty good representation of The Playthings - and I want more, dammit. The guitars on this thing crank and pull the whole disc from one track to the next. The vocals are exceptionally good as well. The Playthings show a lot of promise with this EP... and I anxiously await a full-length offering.