Having too much good material isn’t the worst problem to have, but it does present a few challenges. Oklahoma City nerd rockers Dr. Pants didn’t know what to do with the 20-plus quality songs they had amassed for a new album. Their first thought was to pile them together, but a double-disc release seemed too big.
“A full double album can be a little overwhelming to take in at once,” bandleader and vocalist David Broyles said. “For the moment, it seems like music is moving toward being digested in smaller chunks.”
But a full-length followed by another one seemed too dismissive of the tracks that didn’t make the first cut. So they settled on splitting the album, titled “The Trip,” via four EPs over the course of a year, the first of which, “Side 1: Illusion & Truth,” will be released digitally on Tuesday, after a release show on Saturday.
“This arrangement was the only thing that gave all the songs equal treatment without overwhelming everybody,” Broyles said. “They get to be on equal footing with each other this way. We didn’t want people to think the other release was leftovers.”
By the end, “The Trip” will have assembled itself into a standard double album, although Broyles very much enjoys the band’s clever and deliberate release method.
“I liked the idea that the small chunk emphasizes you were listening to one side of the album, almost like a double-sided vinyl record,” he said. “There’s a little regard for the now and what happened in the past.”
For him and the rest of Dr. Pants — guitarist Kenneth Murray, bassist Aaron Vasquez and drummer Dustin Ragland — this huge undertaking has been fun and rewarding on every level. The songs and the EPs operate less as an overarching story and more as a summation of what the band does.
“Each of the four EPs is like a little Dr. Pants mixtape in a way,” Broyles said. “Even before they were finished, we had rough demos of each one, and it was fun moving them around, playing around and finding the perfect order. I think there will be continuity between all four, but that they will all still have their little, personal vibe.”
The act is confident that the fun, loose bunch of songs, which immediately recall Weezer and further beg comparisons to They Might Be Giants and R.E.M., are some of its best. Considering tracks from the last album, “Gardening in a Tornado,” landed on television programs as huge as “Jersey Shore,” that’s promising.
The whole release is still taking shape; the second side is currently being worked on in the studio and has grown into something different than Pants first might have imagined. It looks to be a continually evolving project, although the destination remains predetermined.
“The whole project being called ‘The Trip,’ the further we got along into it, the more appropriate it seems,” Broyles said. “There’s a journey aspect to all four, and the last one will definitely feel like an ending place.”
Read a review of the EP here.