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Valentine’s Day, the day for lovers during which flowers and cupids abound. But not for all. If your idea of a February 14th celebration feels more like a Mr.& Mrs. Smith movie, then R. M. Hendrix’s latest EP might be for you.

As Hendrix puts it, “Imagine Sonic Youth, Primal Scream, and Echo & the Bunnymen trying to make an album in an Ivy League University while watching James Bond films.” Then you get the feel for this V-Day release, titled ‘Global Affairs / Crack the Code & Remixes.’ The EP features two remixes of the climax from last summer’s shoegaze style espionage album, ‘This Dreadful Mess’ as well as two B-sides.
The original version of this two-song blend title track includes dreamy retro-hippie elements promising “Your secret’s safe with me” followed by a psychedelic groove that might well accompany an Ocean’s Eleven flick. The Warsaw remix takes on a more industrial tone, adding modernity and darkness. The creeping intro taunts, “You can’t track me down.” This develops into a shifty paranoia, punctuated by the repetition, “I’ve cracked the code. I’ve cracked.” The pacing here brings into question which statement elicits greater cause for worry.
After the two B-sides, Hendrix presents the Chesman77-Don’t Check the Mail Mix of “Crack the Code.” Throughout this final track, Hendrix weaves in funk bops and space whirs, emphasizing the sinister declaration, “Hello, I just made Anthrax / Chased it down with Small Pox.” The funkadelic tone builds expectations of a Pinball Wizard appearance. In fact, the collection of tracks could easily form the framework for a modern day cross between Tommy and Bourne Identity.
The B-sides sandwiched between remixes are “All the World Hates a Lover” and “Red Line.” The former is a statement of dreary resignation. The latter is likened to a midwinter voyage through Arctic waters where only monolithic icebergs rise to greet you, the beauty of which you might dare to admire while remaining fully aware of the underlying danger just below the surface.

Love is potent. Some say dangerous. It can change everything. Hendrix’s EP suggests you best be cautious.

Rating: 3.5/5

Free download of R. M. Hendrix’s ‘Global Affairs / Crack the Code & Remixes’ EP available through bandcamp.

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