During a recent raid of Dischord-related downloading I came across French Toast's first work the Bugman EP (Actually out on Arrest Records). Clocking in at just less than 20 minutes and consisting of 6 songs, you can't ask for a much better EP. Made up of James Canty from Nation Of Ulysses and the Make Up and Jerry Busher of All Scars and Fidelity Jones this 2-man DC outfit play calming post-hardcore with catchy pop-hooks.
The Bugman EP starts off with "Breakfast", with it's mid-tempo drumbeat and running bass line, I can't help but tapping my foot along as Jerry sings about "What he had for breakfast", consisting of "The gift that I got for Christmas" and "Finding little answers/to questions of disaster"
Quickening up the pace on track two is "In Veins" Jerry talks about seeing his doppelganger on the street and conversing with him. Breaks in the song reveal catchy guitar work that will get you swaying. But what stands out the most in this track is the excellent drumming and harmonizing in the chorus. This is quite possibly the stand out track.
"Skull-Head" starts out with all those noises you we're afraid of at night while you were laying in your bed as a child. Keyboard squeals and hectic drumming rounding out the feedback gives an eerie feel. As the eerieness subsides you are treated too simple yet invigorating guitar work that seems to go on forever, in a good way. Occasional percussion appearances spices up the track until the vocals, that sound like they are coming through a muffled radio, come in.
"Bug vs. Man" starts off with tribal-esque drumming, followed by hammer-ons and sweeps coming from the guitar. Being an instrumental track, it's got everything it needs, but will seem a bit repetitive and long to some people at points.
The shortest track on the EP seems to be a bridge between "Bug vs. Man" and the final track. Starting off with a low bass line and a feeling of being underwater (thanks to the keyboards); "In Memory" sets up "Where Did You Go"" very nicely.
The final track "Where Did You Go"" is the lyrical height of "Bugman", the lyrics seem artsy, yet approachable as Jerry talks about losing someone and living without going completely insane. "Is there a way/to stop my thoughts from growing"/To stop all the things I base I base my life upon/From multiplying". Very nice guitar picking and basslines emphasize the drumming.
Overall, "Bugman" is an amazing EP, but many will finds it to be a bit dragged out and will think of the instrumental tracks to be holes needed to be filled.