I found it to be immediately accessible, but it took me a while to fully appreciate it. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of this EP too -- it lacks the personal touch of their other albums, and not everything done here sticks, but it's still an enjoyable, unashamedly poppy/quirky release. You should check out my interview if you get a chance.
Digging: Lantlos - .neon
Album Rating: 3.5
Well, put it this way, I'd rather they experiment a little on an EP like this, than on their next LP. It will be interesting to see how much this influences LP #4 though.
I think they'll make a return to their quirky/more playful stuff - The Valley was surrounded by negative experiences.
Ah, The Trees. The song makes me think of the Kurt Vonnegut short story "Harrison Bergeron", which presents a world where absolutely social equality is enforced by crippling those with special abilities so they are at the same level as the lowest common denominator. It's essentially a clever retelling of the "tall poppy syndrome", where people want to cut people with more money, talent, better looks, or whatever, down to size. I'm not sure if at the end the maples have arranged to have the oaks literally cut down to size, or if the maples' agitations have led to the whole forest being clear cut, but either way it's a clever jibe at those who nurse resentments and want to bring down those above them in some way.
Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out
Ah, The Fountain of Lamneth. The idea that this song is about a person's life cycle is interesting. Still, anyone with familiarity with LSD will attest that this song has a psychedelic interpretation. "(eyes) are open very wide" refers to the large pupils of an LSD taker. The "no one at the bridge" part tells of the horrors of a bad trip. "Panacea" relates the blessing of a good trip. "Have I left my life behind" refers to the feeling during a trip that the tripper has "died" and been resurrected. The beginning and end parts pertain to the "I AM THAT I AM" god-definition of "yahweh", a solipsistic experience of godhood that psychedelic-takers and religious mystics have. There is zero chance that this song has no psychedelic connotations.
Yeah! Cute > Sexy