The title cut to Habit of Being is a rough and rocking number shot through with elements of surf guitar. Like a blast of pure Springsteen by way of the Gun Club, Willis’ voice carries a weight with it that lends believable quality to the repeated refrain of “I’ll ride on.” “Happy Birthday to the Bomb” is the quieter affair between it and “Nobody Calls Me Home,” with its viola sweetening a sad tune.
“Happy Birthday” and “Nobody Calls Me Home” could even be seen as fraternal twins — they’re both born of the same short sadness — clocking in rather quickly, but while “Happy Birthday” is plaintive in its longing, “Nobody Calls Me Home” is a hoarse shout.
The EP sounds a little rough, but it’s most likely due to Willis and company recording this EP in his home, rather than in a studio. The mastering job gives Habit of Being a robust sound, though, even if it does have some ragged edges.
The paper sleeve inside the jacket is custom-decorated by Willis himself, and is a pleasant little surprise when you pull the 7″ out for the first time. The liner notes are photocopied, with a great bit of further art — dancing men with lightbulb heads. The artwork is just kind of fascinating.
The copy I received was pressed on smokey clear green wax, which looks absolutely killer. Every record evidently comes on a different colored vinyl, so who knows what you might receive? The record comes with a download of the EP, as well, and if you tweet or Facebook post that aforementioned custom art, you get a download of a bonus track.
Habit of Being is still available on vinyl from Bandcamp.