Grab “Caribou” because Frank Black shouts with more clarity than anything on Surfer Rosa about how shitty our situation really is (“REPENT! REPE-EN-HENT!”); “I’ve Been Tired” because it’s a great document of how music can be humourous, and not just the obvious “Losing my penis/life to a whore with disease” bit, but really, every line and “Levitate Me,” which is the only song on the EP that demonstrates the poppiness of Doolittle.
The rest of these songs are just a band in its infancy, and what you have are songs that sound the same because they’re all powered by an acoustic shuffle (“Vamos (Another Version)” starting at the 1:54 mark, “Isla De Encanta” and “Nimrod’s Son”). Meanwhile, Joey Santiago’s guitar solo on “Ed is Dead” at the 0:37 mark will be recycled later at the end of the solo of “Hey,” the one where he hits the same note and bending it as he goes, but this one doesn’t bring us anywhere (the one in “Hey” led us all into Frank Black’s “UHH!”). Otherwise, the only interesting thing about that song is that Ed is a woman (and Kim Deal, who could’ve boosted the chorus to “I’ve Been Tired”-like levels only appears every alternating line). “Nimrod’s Son” is a nauseating bit of dynamic and tempo shifts to hide the fact that there’s nothing else going on (the lyrics are about some incest bother). A broader problem is that you wouldn’t think David Lovering were as great a drummer because you can barely hear him.
In 1987, three bands that Kurt Cobain loved ashamedly came out with EPs: the Pixies, the Replacements (even if it was a glorified single for “Alex Chilton”) and the Vaselines. This was the worst of the three.