Rich Creamy Paint and Friends, split EP

rich-mindySplit EPs usually send the message: “none of our bands had enough good material to fill up an EP.” But RCP and Friends bucks the trend. The story, as we understand it, is that Rich Creamy Paint won some sort of contest that paid for the CD. They invited three bands of their friends to contribute two songs each. Got that? There’s four bands on the “EP”–each contributing two songs. Then there’s a collaborative track featuring members of all four bands. So, it’s more like a split LP.

Rich Creamy Paint themselves are a power pop band in the sunny mold of early Weezer. Dreamy and crunchy in equal doses, RCP divide up their contributions to the EP along those adjectives. “Warehouse”–the opener–is nice and crunchy with a wistful lyric and a classic call-and-response chorus. “Please Convince Me That All Men Don’t Cheat” is–let’s lay our cards on the table–wussy. But it’s charming and sweet which the ladies dig.

The song leads well into The Foxymorons’ “I’m Still in Love.” It’s a noisy slice of alt-country–like if Wilco still gave a crap about writing songs you could sing along to. “Delancey At Daybreak” is little more straight-ahead rock. It’s still got a twang but it’s more recognizably pop.

The EP serves as the recorded introduction to Harper, the band led by former Feable Weiner bassist, Ben Harper. His music follows in the tradition of great Southern power pop–Superdrag, Big Star, Judybats, etc. “Mystery” even reflects some of his former band’s pep. A piano carries “Don’t Waste My Time.” It’s a long song with a sing-along ending straight out of Paul McCartney’s playbook.

Jetpack are sort of veterans of the bunch and so they bat clean-up. Their smooth 70s style rock is charming and hooky. But, if the EP has a short-coming, it’s the transition from Harper’s warm, almost soulful “Don’t Waste My Time” to Jetpack’s somewhat cold “Matters of Science.” “Bianca”–their second contribution–recaptures the pace of the EP.

The final track–officially credited to Rich Creamy Paint and Friends–called “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us” is not the Starship song. But it captures a feeling of nostalgia and friendship that we attach to 80s music even when it’s not actually there (as in the case of Starship). The verse lyrics are traded among the singers of each band and the choruses are shouted together. It’s a friendly ending to a friendly EP. And it’s a really well-wrapped introduction to some of Nashville’s most talented pop bands.