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There’s a point in The Rupert Selection’s impressive new EP Modern Playground Medicine where you lose track of where you are, slightly in the literal sense but even moreso in terms of the track listing. It arrives in the loose middle point of opening song “Sundogs,” where the riffs fade into a cinematic, shimmering setting, allowing the gliding atmosphere to swallow the listener whole. It’s swirling and uplifting, and as the tones begin to reform and the song aligns back into shape, you’re not really sure if a new track has begun or if you’re just on one long journey on an intergalactic highway of psych and prog. As you get your bearings, all hell breaks loose, and it’s a wonder that after eight minutes you’ve only experienced the first song.
And that’s likely the point. Modern Playground Medicine is a whirlwind of sound and surprises, an impressive leap for the Manchester-By-The-Sea trio that’s both a traditional EP/album release and something akin to a film score. The EP’s four songs clock in at 27 minutes total, but that number is deceiving, as closing instrumental composition “Pennies In The Desert” buzzes through an apparent droid factory in just 154 seconds. And it’s a bit of a relief, because by that point, you’re out of breath entirely. What happens in the middle is something like a movie’s plot line, so we’ll just direct everyone to the Spotify embed below for their own takes.
That said, Modern Playground Medicine caps off an impressive year for The Rupert Selection, who barnstormed their way to the Rock And Roll Rumble finals before losing to Carissa Johnson (no shame in that game), were selected for the 617 Sessions, and released an EP back in April titled Baseball Practice. They put a bow on 2017’s proceedings with a show December 23 at ONCE Ballroom, the scene of the Rumble grime, for The Stampede’s 7th annual Christmas Spectacular alongside Fire in the Field and Radium Girls.