Good things come in small packages as they say, and there's none finer proof than this catalogue of superlative EPs. Speakers at the ready...

50Mogwai – ‘EP +6’

Scottish post rockers Mogwai originally released this comp of tracks in Japan in 2000 and then brought it to the UK the following year thanks to popular demand. Highlights include the ambient landscape of ‘Superheroes of BMX’ and the ode to fallen auteur ‘Stanley Kubrick’ who died in 1999.

49Slayer - 'Haunting the Chapel'

Although obviously doomy, the title here from America’s hardest thrash band sounds vaguely quaint when compared to some of the awful things metal bands call shit these days. Take a listen to the ‘Haunting the Chapel EP’ though and you’ll realise there’s nothing quaint about it. It sounds like molten lava being poured into your arsehole.

48Calexico - ‘Even My Sure Things Fall Through’

Not necessarily the coolest band on the list, but who gives a shit about cool when the songs are this good. ‘Crystal Frontier’ is a mariachi classic that sounds as hot as the desert plains that inform so much of their work.

47Anthrax - ‘Attack of the Killer B's’

Anthrax aren’t quite the thrash metal force they were back at the end of the 80’s and early 90’s, but this still sounds absolutely ferocious. Put lead track ‘Milk (Ode To Billy)’ on and turn it up really fucking loud if you want to put a smile on your face and annoy your neighbours at the same time.

46Beta Band - ‘Los Amigo Del Beta Bandidos’

If My Bloody Valentine had to work hard to compete with the splendor of their early EPs, then for the Beta Band the challenge to live up to their early work was just too insurmountable. ‘Los Amigo Del Beta Bandidos’ is one of three brilliant early EPs, though these folktronica spearheaders never quite lived up to their early promise elsewhere.

45NWA - ‘100 Miles and Runnin’

Coming out in 1990 on Ruthless Records after the departure of Ice Cube, this EP appeared two years ahead of the LA Riots and yet it is rife with the tensions with police that would explode following the beating of Rodney King by LAPD officers in 1992. The tracks themselves still sound exhilarating even now.

44The Pogues - ‘Poguetry in Motion’

Recorded with producer Elvis Costello between their two best loved LP’s ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash’ and ‘If I Should Fall From Grace With God’, this EP became the Pogues first hit and includes four great songs, one of which - ‘Rainy Night In Soho’ - is a bona fide classic.

43The Fall - ‘Slates’

Mark E Smith was in scything, rasping form on this early Rough Trade EP recorded with longtime collaborator Grant Showbiz and featuring a young Mark Riley on bass. ‘Prole Art Threat’ takes props for the most paradigmatic Fall title.

42Elvis Costello - ‘New Amsterdam’

Elvis Costello is maybe the finest songwriter of his generation (though he has plenty of competition) and back in 1980 he knocked out songs for fun, including the three minute waltz of the title track and three more rarities besides. ‘New Amsterdam’ was released the previous year on his much-loved fourth studio album ‘Get Happy!!’

41Broadcast - ‘Extended Play Two’

Following the release of their ‘The Noise Made By People’ album, Broadcast still had some great material left to release and so out came this EP in 2000. Listening to the vitality of ‘Illumination’ now still makes it hard to believe that Trish Keenan is no longer with us.

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