steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Exeter Popes

"Snow, Mountain, Geisha" CDEP

White Shoe Records

Genre: indie pop, indie rock, lo-fi

May 2007

Snow, Mountain, Geisha is the second EP out of Stephen Lipuma's Exeter Popes project, following a solid debut that I reviewed favourably. This time around he's recruited a few more people to his band, making for another solid pop outing rife with Smiths and For Against influences. Lipuma has that sort of glazed, passive vocal style used by his influences, which adds a sort of icy, detached feel to these five songs, notably on "Letter from Mr. Smith." Coupled with the ploddingly melodic compositions, this EP can be a bit disturbing for fans of more overt pop music. This effect is not a bad thing - though at times it could be tightened up a bit to add more of the tension present in works by For Against and co. The best song on here is the uplifting "50 Days," with its blissful melody and persistent momentum. However, the spiny guitar chords of "Bristol Takes Arms" and the joyful release of "Bombs...Bombs...Bombs" give "50" as run for its money. Snow, Mountain, Geisha is nice work again from the Popes - if Lipuma can tighten up his sound a tad, his debut full-length could be quite a wonder.

the exeter popes' myspace


youuuuuuuutube!: video for "50 days", live song (not on this cd)

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, 13:23, distributed by CD Baby, released 2007]