In a way, the two pre-album EPs (this one and "You Made Me Realise") represent the peak of MBV's first golden era - where they'd introduced the "glider" and related guitar effects, but didn't yet make them the focus of the music, there were still substantially detailed songs underneath all the noise. "Isn't Anything" contains a few songs that simply don't stick in the memory - the two EPs are strong from start-to-finish.
The surprisngly punky, anthemic title track was soon to be notorious as the framing song of their high-volume "holocaust" improvisations onstage - here there's just a brief Day-In-The-Life-style upward rush, and it's back to the theme statement. The other relatively famous songs are the mildly lewd "Slow" and "Cigarette In Your Bed" (Shields and Butcher respectively). What may come as a surprise is how poppy the other two songs are: "Thorn" and "Drive All Over Me" feature very little of the group's signature guitar noise, but they feature instantly memorable melodies, and the latter in particular could have been an oldies-radio staple if it weren't for the lyrics.
It's a sign of the record company's capacity for poor judgment that this EP hasn't been kept in print for years.