Small Brown Bike
"Nail Yourself To The Ground" sounds like the Bike of old; all churning, pounding, pulverizing guitars interspersed with moments of musical tenderness. However, my favorite song on this EP - purely due to the steel guitar (and I'm a sucker for steel guitar; if you put a steel guitar on a record, the redneck hairs on my neck rise, I pop open a can of PBR and am predisposed to consider it more highly as a result) - is "So I Fall." Sure, it's emo as hell, but the steel guitar is really pretty and there ain't much else to say about that. "The River Bed" is much the same, but without the steel guitar. In this respect, Small Brown Bike was one of the most dependable and reliable bands recording, exploring and stretching musical boundaries enough to make each successive record interesting enough to warrant extended listening, yet familiar enough to ensure that they'd never get a "What the fuck is this shit?" review (sorry Greil, had to go for the crib). And yes, I used the past tense since the mighty Bike has called it a day. While these two releases aren't their best work ("Dead Reckoning" still holds that spot), both of them are still works that most bands would give a nut or two to create.