Midwest Product: Swamp EP
Ghostly Digital

The new Ghostly Digital venture serves as a five-track way-station for artists to issue new material, remixes, and alternate takes in between full-lengths, with Midwest Product and Cepia leading the charge and Twine and Dykehouse in the wings.

Merge Solvent's electro-pop with the live energy and post-rock attack of a largely vocal-less Mobius Band and you've got something close to Midwest Product's polished electro-rock sound. After a two-year gap, the Ann Arbor trio (Ben Mullins, Chad Pratt, Drew Schmieding) follows their Specifics and World Series of Love albums with a fine first installment in the Ghostly Digital series. The crisp funk treatment in “Swamp (Warren Harding Memorial Version)” opens the EP strongly, with minimal electronic touches mingling with understated guitar and synth flourishes while “Cold Sore” warms an android pulse with a soulful groove. Elsewhere, “Ohfas” and “Mumbler” present the group's cinematic side while also showing its propensity for heavy-hitting drama. It's the potent closer, however, that exposes the group's stylistic contrasts most baldly when “Easter Surrenders” alternates ‘80s synthpop hooks with supple guitar-enhanced drum punch.

March 2006