After a couple of quiet years following the success of its sophomore album, Light and Magic, Ladytron has resurfaced in a surprising flurry of activity. First there was the third full-length, Witching Hour, in late 2005, and the band, which rarely appears live, is undertaking a massive world tour (which officially began September 20 in Miami). In the midst of all the hype slipped into Extended Play is a collection of Witching Hour remixes and B-sides. The tracks are relieved of their guitar-pop elements, the basic backbones stretched over more purely electronic forms. "Sugar," remixed by Jagz Kooner, turns the dual female vocals into a spacy chant floating atop a starkly digital electro dance-floor workout. "Destroy Everything You Touch (Catholic Version)" strips the original version bare, supplanting it with organ jabs. The result could be a hymn from Mars. However, the B-side "new" tracks fare less well, providing little more than moody background music.
Hard-core fans have probably already downloaded all of these tracks, but new converts should definitely give this album a listen. Bonus: An included DVD contains two music videos and footage of the band in China. Arielle Castillo