Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: Patterns EP

dale earnhardt jr jr, if you didnt see meDetroit darlings and hipster over-lords Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. give the music world a small taste of the avaunt-garde garage rock meets 80’s synth party they’re celebrated for on the so-fresh-its-still-steaming Patterns EP. It drops this week, why haven’t you downloaded this thing already?

Too long for a single and not quite enough to justify a full album’s asking price the EP as a format is deader than Whitney Houston/Bobby Brown domestic abuse jokes (too soon?). The original design behind the idea back in the fifties, about the last time Detroit could be relied on for quality tunes, was to hold over audiences between full length releases. One questions whether the extended play is even relevant in the digital age when tracks can be released independent of any type of organization and at any time via the internet, but god bless DEJJ for the effort.

If Patterns was meant to tide the legions of ravenous fans over it proves more than effective. Much like “It’s a Corporate World,” DEJJ will delight, surprise and blow your mongrel mind. Lie to me and say you weren’t totally thrown for a loop by the track’s intro on, “If You Didn’t See Me”. Now lie to yourself, you irony-laced, self-loather and say the EP as a whole isn’t just as epic.

Complete with an 80’s style lush production value but minus all the big hair and canned drum tracks Patterns walks a fine line between fun and feelings, executing both equally well. It’s hard to judge whether the rest of the EP packs the same punch as the lead in, but every offering is just as unique and bound to bounce around in your head for far longer than appropriate.

“Dark Waters” is an ominous ode to the suffocation of relationships. With a chorus that brightly surfaces for air between verses heavy enough to drag you straight back down to the bottom it’s easy to identify with the universal sentiment of the love/hate relationship. “Hiding” is a bit like your bipolar auntie at a holiday get together, careening between despair and pure joy. The close out track pleasantly sedates the audience like a dreamy ketamine buzz creating a desperate longing in accordance with it namesake, “Habits” for the ridiculously named but talented beyond reason Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Let’s just hope the unlikely success of their first release combined with the hype sure to be delivered by the four thin yet deft slices of Patterns that these fine boys don’t get distracted by the sex, the substances, or the scene that’s bound to be lauded upon them like the conquering generals they are quickly becoming. If the next album contains even a shadow of Patterns sonic glory you’ll be telling people how ‘over’ it you already are before it’s even leaked.
Rating: 7.5/10
MP3: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr “If You Didn’t See Me, (Then You Weren’t on the Dancefloor)”
Buy: iTunes