Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reviews:: Land of Talk Some are Lakes

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Normally, when you are left to wait for something it usually fails to deliver, especially in today’s digital musical age. With Land of Talk, it seems we’ve been waiting for an eternity for a follow up to Applause Cheer Boo Hiss. That EP was killer - Liz Powell’s gruff vocal style mixed so nicely with heavy guitars, distortion and volume - but despite the unlimited promise the trio showed, they suffered setback after setback. Increasing popularity, getting f*cked over by a canceled tour in Europe and more lineup switches than a fantasy football team led to delays, but finally, thanks to Saddle Creek we are getting to hear the new Land of Talk.

Quick reaction – Some Are Lakes is a resounding success. I’ve been listening to the promo copy for weeks, and had trouble putting thoughts to paper. On the surface, you might be tempted to say it’s the same old Land of Talk, but in reality they’ve made incredible strides at the same time. Liz’s vocals are still terrific; hungry, emotional, powerful, but they are given more room to roam and really let you become a part of the experience.

The band seems more comfortable exploring the vastness that they are a part of and those journeys are made successful with a new sense of patience and restraint. It would be hard to imagine the band pulling off a delicate number like Troubled – an effort that pulls you close with a tender hand and terrific harmonies – or even the poppy It’s Ok years prior.

Instead of replicating the EP – the searing intensity, the energy, the chaotic fuzz that made the seven songs hit you like a punch in the mouth – they changed up the equation. They still deliver heavy guitar tracks (Corner Phone and the stellar Some Are Lakes), but the diversity and change of tempo is what makes Some Are Lakes so repeatable. Little details surface and sneak your attention – the bass fill that compliments Liz as she sings, “one poison, two poison, three poison” is so clear and simple that you can't imagine the song without it, but I never remember hearing it any time the band crushed through the song live.

And to be honest, that’s just it. Instead of a quick twenty minute listen, the ten songs run the gambit of emotion and style and flow naturally into each other. The band controls the songs, knowing when to open them up and when to handle the notes with care and its the listener who is rewarded. The heavy hitting opener, Yuppie Flu, is big and brash, but they experiment with subtle, underlying textures that give a calming influence over the last two minutes of the track. The band has seen more, heard more, done more and it’s all reflected in their more mature sound. This record is a big step for Land of Talk, but one that was well worth the wait. Hopefully, we won't have to wait quite so long next time around.

Posted at 10:56 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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