Placebo – B3 EP


Artist

Album

B3 EP

Label

Universal

Year

2012

Genre

For Fans Of

Muse - Interpol

Summary

A short burst of old and new.

Rating

70 / 100

No one sounds like Placebo. Sure, they play fairly straight forward rock music, but they have such a unique style about them that no one has ever come close to being able to copy it, they have made the sound their own and they embellish it with each new release.

This could be the key to their longevity, however there is the risk around each corner that it could easily become stale. How do you combat that? Wait three years since your last album, then just release a five-song EP.

Possibly due to clever planning, or maybe just a fluke, the group’s new ‘B3 EP’ keeps the refined maturity present in their recent works, but also offers a heavier, darker sound akin to their early material. The gentle balance between these two shades is what makes this EP such an interesting listen.

One of the clear stand-outs is the opening, and title track, B3, a song that opens with a fuzzed out synth that then breaks into a fairly dance heavy, boppy, little number driven by Brian Moloko’s grimacing melodies. While the synth lead in might hint that the track will be similar to the group’s electronic moments, it goes no further than this one instrumental line. The song is built up by guitar, drum and bass, returning the trio to their rock n’ roll glory. The fact that this is maintained for most of the record means the EP has a raw/live feel about it. Second track I Know You Want To Stop for example almost feels as if the band recorded live whilst playing in a room, there are no studio tricks, just fuzz pedals and tight musicianship.

The half way point offers the acoustic driven, yet groovy The Extra, with Moloko harmonising with himself in parts and offering reflective lines like “If I am an extra in the film of my own life, then who the hell is the director?” The EP finishes up with the percussion led, atmospheric number I.K.W.Y.L and the soft piano driven closer Time Is Money.

Conclusion

This EP will not surprise anyone who knows Placebo, nor will it overstay its welcome like their full-length albums sometimes can. The band have played it fairly safe but considering it has been awhile since they have offered any output, the ‘B3 EP’ will steer clear of any hefty criticism and be enjoyed by many.

Tracklisting

1. B3
2. I Know You Want To Stop
3. The Extra
4. I.K.W.Y.L
5. Time Is Money

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