Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reviews:: The Lovely Killbots Primrose Lane

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Every so often you are pleasantly surprised after incorrectly judging a book by its cover. Case in point; when I got an email full of songs from Toronto’s The Lovely Killbots and saw their pseudo-ominous photo montage online, I naturally assumed the duo was going to enjoy sci-fi, overreaching melodrama, Tim Burton and maybe even play their instruments with some sort of scissor hands.

Instead I was thrilled to hear a compact two-piece that relies on Ryan's intricate drumming and the clean sounds of a jazz-pop pianist. Sure some of the melodies and Lauralee’s smoky vocals do drift into the darker shadows (Whisper=Softly) and at well placed moments they do add a sense of drama and intensity, but even with the depth they throw into the arrangements for the most part they manage to keep the tracks upbeat and accessible.

Tracks like Dis/Gruntled are fueled by infectious ivories and terrific drumming and Lauralee does a good job of mixing her voice into the songs instead of powering over top of them. The chemistry the duo exhibits is impressive, as at no point on Primose Lane do you ever start thinking, "wow, this is obviously a Ryan song" or "this is a piano line Lauralee has been working on for years." The drums and piano mesh nicely, and the duo has a keen sense of timing, knowing when to surge forward and when to gracefully retreat.

It’s hard to knock down Primrose Lane. For a debut LP, its’ strong, polished and shows remarkable consistency. That being said, as the band moves forward I’d love to hear a bit more diversity. Aside from an instrumental number - intimate conversation with an inanimate heart – the tracks use a lot of the same sounds and textures and inevitably, they start to blend. They opt for subtleties instead of obvious hooks and as a result, even when they mix it up with nice transitions – like the terrific breakdown on Don’t Look Down - or big drum fills (Ghetto A), I still found myself finding it hard to distinguish the songs.

Not that I'm complaining. Very few new bands can forge a unique sound and create a collection of songs where none leaves you flat. The Lovely Killbots escape their moniker by craft emotional, unique tracks and at the end of the day you are left feeling better just by hearing them. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Posted at 2:00 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

I saw these two play live at Rancho and they did not disappoint. They really have a unique style about them. Agreed they're a band to keep an eye on.

 

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