Sunday, May 24, 2015

Staring Problem : "Long Winter"

On a more ethereal side of the post-punk side that allows them to step over the line into goth this Chicago band is hitting all the right notes , but the vocals are buried. The dead pan apathy of Lauren Owen's vocal style makes this approach make sense to some extent. The bass player is one of the bands strongest players. On "Parasite" her vocals elbow there way to the front of the mix , but once the songs begins to build to build and the guitars swell up from behind here she gets a little lost. She shows a little more range as she lets out a shout or two. The song has angrier lyrics that the band matches in tone without getting to punk.

The lo-fi production gives a muddy quality at times that makes them sound more like a shoe gaze band that is playing more up-tempo. Owen's vocals wander around the songs key at times on "Species Forgotten" I am not sure if the Sonic Youth like clanging is intentional. The guitarist normally plays it pretty safe. With there songs the rule of thumb seems to be what you hear is what you get. There song writing style doesn't allow for any surprises.Not unlike Haldol who I also reviewed today there is an early Cure influence that makes its self known on "Semi Conscious". They do not have as much command of their sound as Haldol does.

One thing this band does get credit for it is despite having a female singer I never felt like she ever wanted to be Siouxsie. The higher oohs she does on the closing "Cease to Be " are out of key. So she is both a strength and weakness of this album. Her singing style sounds like she just doesn't care, so that might play into her performance. I'll give it a 5.5, if you are just dying for new female sung post- punk then you might even round this up to a 6. It reminds me why I haven't been giving the revival as much of a chance , though I do want to get my hands on the new She Past Away, so if any one has it hit me up.

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