It’s rare that a band can create music with a vintage feel while not feeling dated or unoriginal.

Madison band Hired Rivals, however, have achieved just that on their recently released project, unceremoniously titled EP.

The four members of Hired Rivals, a self-described “space rock” band, each come from different musical backgrounds, and it shows in the diversity present in their music. The band has released promising demos and a standalone over the past year, and definitely delivered with this EP.

With only five tracks and clocking in at around 20 minutes, the band is impressively able to pack in a lot of different rock influences into the project without the music ever feeling crowded or over-cooked.

The influences present from track to track vary a lot as well. The opening track “Rabies Babies,” for example, is a fairly standard, but not boring, indie power pop ballad. On the other hand, the following tune, “Trampion,” has a distinctly grungier sound.

Transitions between songs never feel jarring, though, nor does the band suffer from any lack of coherency. Hired Rivals clearly have great chemistry, and even though their arrangements are often bold and intricate, they never get in the way of one another.

Instead, the result is a rich sound that is a greater sum than its parts, even though the parts are pretty great, too.

Special mention, though, must be given to lead singer Kodiak McMountain Lion’s vocals. Her syrupy voice is the main consistency from track to track, and helps drive home the band’s outer-space leanings with its celestial qualities.

EPĀ is definitely a good start for Hired Rivals. Hopefully, on their next project they can experiment even more with their sound, going further out and expanding the boundaries of their sound. They certainly have the talent to do so.

4.1/5