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Working hard to further their penchant for hashing together paisley underground psychedelia and classic post-punk, Sad Lovers and Giants followed their first two acclaimed singles with the hefty EP Epic Garden Music in fall 1982. With a delicious blend of gloomy guitar and bass infused with punch and verve that recalls early Cure, and a sophisticated wordplay that was uniquely their own, the quintet split the songs between seaside and countryside, between earth and air, and inflected a little of each into the music. Absolutely cohesive and completely on track, the songs on this set are slick and smooth. From the opening "Echoplay" and the foggy "Clocktower Lodge," which walk a quiet edge, to the pure pop of "Alice (Isn't Playing)" and the ominous closer "Far From the Sea," which sounds as if vocalist Garce Allard sang his part through a window outside the studio, each moment is a masterpiece. And, though most of the songs maintain similar a tempo and intensity, "Clint" snaps heads around, while "Lope" features a sublimely off-kilter sax solo from David Wood. It's an addition that brings the closing dregs of a traveling circus to mind -- or, perhaps in a nod to the side's vibe, a closing seaside town that has turned a woolen shoulder to November wind and rain. Sorely overlooked outside of England, Sad Lovers and Giants may have been lost in the wake of the post-punk generation's heroes, but they haven't been forgotten. They remain a small pearl -- a gem of the ocean that birthed them.