Review: Ferdinand - "What To Do"

Ferdinand - What To Do
(Self-Released 2016)

Each inhale sticks to your soft palate like an individually wrapped pack of stale peanut butter crackers and the wallpaper is floral. The notations to four short songs are printed on the yellowed inside cover pages of the Heathcliff comics anthology that's spent a few decades wilting in your great-grandmother's basement. What to Do, he third EP release by Nashvillian bedroom pop outfit Ferdinand, is an intimate crawl space outfitted with a leather recliner, the flickering warmth of post-rock pulsations, and a hint of mildew in the air. It's the spare room you ducked into as a child to dodge chattering relatives at a family reunion, a grape Kool-Aid Jammers stain watercolored on the off-white carpet.

Amoebic blobs of feedback and minimal riffage glide across a microscope slide on "Opener" while frontman John Lewandowski whispers glossolalic observations into a tape recorder. There's a sense of organic construction to the tune, as if each translucent guitar note attained sentience and crawled along the song's shuffling marching band beat. "Underbed" is a halftime show performed in secret on the high-school gridiron after midnight, its stray melodic twangs lapping up against the bleachers like firefly flares while the drum line marches into the abyss. Closing cut "Right" is a surprising burst of retro emotive hardcore energy, a sturdy base for What To Do to stand on - its Beach Fossils six-string harmonies tie a Christmas tree to the station wagon while sleety cymbal splashes melt on the windshield.

A cherry Fla-Vor-Ice drips into the grass, a shed reptilian skin in your hand.