Rather than record a full-length follow-up to their fine 2007 collection Educated Kid, the Bay Area band The Hipwaders decided to save a little money and record just an EP, Goodie Bag, released last week. The band packs in quite a bit of music into the 16-minute EP and while there's nothing as completely amazing as the title track to their Educated Kid disk, there's a lot here to enjoy. From the crunchy power-pop snippet "Birthday Ruckus" to the jazzy punk "Field Trip" to the XTC-punk of "Things You Want," the band covers a lot of musical territory and chords you don't hear so much of in the genre. They're not recording "Jazz Odyssey" by any means, but songwriter and guitarist Tito Uquillas likes to write songs celebrating the imagination or creativity -- "My New Camera" or "What's That Noise?," for example -- and the trio's music never fits a cookie-cutter pop mold. Fellow Bay Area musician Gunnar Madsen also makes an appearance on the title track, the goofiest track here.
The album will appeal most to kids ages 4 through 9. You can hear clips at the album's CDBaby page or hear full clips plus lead Hipwader Tito's thoughts on the EP here. As far as goodie bags go, this particular one would be an excellent stuffer at your kids' next party. A tiny but recommended collection of songs.