EP Review | MIKE – BY THE WATER

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This EP was released on September 6th. I really didn’t know this thing even existed; the only reason I’m checking it out is because I saw my friend tweeting about it. It’s only 4 tracks, and they’re all under two and a half minutes, so I just thought I’d get it outta the way real quick. There aren’t any production credits on the bandcamp page, so I’m just gonna assume every song is self produced.

Track 1: GNATS

I just listened to this entire track with the sound all the way down. My dumbass was like “why did he put a silent track on his EP?” Smh… Anyway, this beat is fucking amazing. It sounds like a more abstract, lo-fi version of something DOOM would produce. I like the way MIKE’s flow evolves over the course of this song. His delivery sounds exactly like a Doris era Earl Sweatshirt. Honestly, if I didn’t know any better and somebody told me this was an unreleased track from Doris, I’d probably believe them. His delivery is so lethargic and defeated sounding that it almost gets drowned out by the production at certain points. I’m not sure whether or not that was intentional, and I don’t really know how I feel about it. The song just ended. This was really fuckin’ good. It’s not a perfect track, but I honestly enjoyed this more than most of what was on MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE. This is dope af.

Track 2: HURDLES

I said this during my review of MGBYH, but it sounds like he recorded this in his closet with his computer’s built in external microphone. Actually that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It’s not bad enough to make it unlistenable. It’s just noticeable. I’ve already listened to a little over half the song. It’s decent. I’m enjoying it, but I wouldn’t say anyone would be missing out if they decided to skip this track. It sounds like a leftover track from MGBYH. It’s just MIKE unenthusiastically spitting one verse over a decent beat. I don’t think it’s bad, but I’m never gonna listen to it again. It’s decent.

Track 3: WAIT FOR ME

This shit sounds weird as fuck. The production kinda sounds like a really distorted Drone beat. Kinda like Grief by Earl Sweatshirt, but not quite as dark. It sounds like a distorted show tune sample. It’s really fuckin’ dope. This is the shortest song on the project—under 2 minutes—but I honestly like this even more than the first track. The production is amazing, and I really like the way MIKE flowed over it. Lyrically, it maintains the same despondent vibe that all MIKE’s other work has. The reason I like this so much more is because the production and flow just sound a lot better to me. This is dope af.

Track 4: GOD’S WITH ME

Ooooh shit. Wow. I was NOT expecting to hear anything like this. This beat is fucking incredible. It’s super jazzy, but still lo-fi. Fuck. Okay, THIS is probably gonna end up being my favorite song. Piano driven production is my weakness, so this is fantastic for me. I just listened to the whole song. It’s really fuckin’ good. It’s more of the same tho. The only difference is the stellar production. I think I actually like the previous one more. It’s been a day since I originally checked out both of these tracks, and even though I love the jazzy sound of this track, the super dark, cloudy sound of the previous track is more exciting to me. Actually… I don’t know… Fuck it. THIS is my favorite song. I guess it depends what mood I’m in. All you need to know is I really love both of these tracks. This is dope af.

Final Thoughts:

This is a really great EP. The short length keeps it from getting stale. There’s not really any room for error. I wouldn’t want a whole album of this tho. I pretty much already got that with his previous release. This is like a quick taste of that album. I’d say this is a better entry point. It’s a good way to preview MIKE’s sound. If you like this project, you’ll enjoy MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HUSTLE. Just don’t expect it to throw anything new at you. These really all could’ve been bonus tracks for that album. That’s pretty much all there is to say. This is a much more digestible project. It’s great. If you’ve heard anything from MIKE, this is pretty much the same thing. Just shorter. The shorter length makes it a much more enjoyable project for me personally. So yeah. I feel like I just said the same thing in 5 different ways. It’s a great project. I don’t know how to end this. That’s never been a problem for me, so I don’t really know why this is happening. I’m kinda distracted right now. It’s hard to work on my blog in college since I’m constantly surrounded by my friends. Anyway… Uh… Bye.

Favorite Song: GOD’S WITH ME

Least Favorite Song: HURDLES

Verdict:

A-

80-89

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