‘Weird’ EP lacks distinction

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas’ debut EP, “Weird Looking Women in Too Many Clothes,” was self-released on Dec. 10. Photo courtesy of www.terrorbird.com

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas’ debut EP, “Weird Looking Women in Too Many Clothes,” was self-released on Dec. 10. Photo courtesy of www.terrorbird.com

An EP is a production that is too short to be an album but too varied in content to be a sampler of a band’s singles.

The problem with the EP is this: In striking a balance to providing a good showcase of talent without running too long, the EP should contain the sort of material that makes the listener interested in hearing more of the band’s music. The EP is the music industry’s version of a trailer.

It seems some producers still haven’t completely grasped the concept of an EP, even 50 years after their inception. “Weird Looking Women in Too Many Clothes” by Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas is a prime example of an EP that missed the mark.

While there are some inspired bits of genre-bending shenanigans present in this EP, most of the tracks fall short of being truly distinct from one another. Whether this lack of variety is the fault of the band or the producer isn’t exactly clear, but it seems to be the most significant flaw in an otherwise great sampling.

To get a taste of the range of this album, “Moonstruck” and “Face Off” seem to be good song choices. They stand out because of their ballsy attitude and their creative hijinks. These first two tracks off “Weird” are the uncontested stars of the show.

Additionally, the themes initiated in these first tracks continue throughout the album — much of which seems to sample the feel of these tracks to gently wind down to the end of the album.

The sound combinations of “Moonstruck,” the first track off “Weird,” are decidedly quirky but in a seemingly unintentional sort of way. Mix a bit of Tom Waits’ staggering musical sound with a musical verve that a press release describes as “swampy,” and you’ve got the sort of music that wouldn’t seem out of place as background noise in a dirty strip joint.

If this description seems over the top, then perhaps this music isn’t for you. Although there is an aggrandized play to touch on a mixture of genres for popular appeal, the intent behind the music seems jointly focused on baby making and scaring you shitless — a combination that easily draws in the listener for the entire album.

Moving in a slightly different direction, “Face Off,” the second track on the album, showcases a more developed sound overall. With backing brass, piano and a change in vocals, this is a far happier song than any other off this EP, and it stands out for its clarity of vision as well as full instrumental backing.

Ultimately a well-developed first effort; Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas are going places. If you want to be aware of what’s going to be popular for the unpopular, familiarize yourself with this EP. Sultry and sinister, “Weird” offers a brief glimpse into the funky world of underground music that will leave you wanting more.

Tune in to KSLC 90.3 FM to hear tracks from the debut EP.

Eric Tompkins/KSLC 90.3 FM
Eric Tompkins can be reached at kslcmusic@gmail.com.

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