Running an MP3 blog, I get people sending me music to review and promote all the time.  Some of it is great.  A lot of it is OK.  And some of it is really bad.

Today’s band, EPO-555, is none of those.  They’re a step or two above “OK,” but not quite at the “great” level yet.

The people in charge of their US marketing sent me their latest album, Mafia, to review and give my opinion of.  I never heard of the band before this album, so I can’t offer a very wide perspective, but I’ll give my humble opinions and you all can see what you think on your own by downloading the sample MP3s below.

EPO-555, consisting of Mikkel Max, Ebbe Frej, Tine Winther, and Hans Emil, brings a solid combination of shoegaze, pop, and electronica from far-off Denmark.  I really like their sound.  It’s solid and catchy.  It’s fun to listen to.  They’re definitely a step or two above the realm of “OK” bands out there.

But… they’re not quite at the “great” level either.  They’ve got a very professional, clean, tight sound, but there’s nothing there pushing them over the edge for me.  There’s nothing in particular that keeps them from pushing into greatness for me.  I guess, I really don’t like Tine’s vocals (kinda’ blah) so I didn’t put up any of the songs she sings today.  I like Mikkel Max’s voice a lot better, which is why both songs today have him singing.

There’s really nothing lacking in the band.  Mikkel Max’s vocals are great – not incredibly impassioned or anything, but that’s the shoegaze influence coming out.  The combination of pop, shoegaze, and electronica works really well for them.  The songs are catchy and fun but introspective and searching at the same time.  There’s some fun layering of sounds going on between synthesizers, guitars, percussion, bass, and whistling (hear it on “The Final Surf”), which creates an almost epic sound in songs like “Harry Mambourg”.  It’s obvious these guys are great instrumentalists who understand how to use music to create an atmosphere.

I think what I dislike most about the band is their anonymity.  Their website says little about the band members.  Their MySpace says even less.  Their marketing guys didn’t seem to know if they considered themselves Christians or not.  (They told me they thought they were Christians, so take it for what it’s worth.)  All in all, their music is really good on a lot of levels, but the band itself seems forgettable because they’re lost behind the professionalism and marketing.

Anyway, download some songs.  It’s great shoegazey pop stuff I think you’ll enjoy:

EPO-555 – Harry Mambourg
EPO-555 – The Final Surf


Buy EPO-555 on Amazon
Buy EPO-555 on iTunes

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