• We're gonna have to resist parroting the reflexively positive blurbs about NYC-via-Maine alt-pop band TWO LIGHTS. Sure, they're handsome, and the group's "new and noteworthy" (per iTunes) debut EP Years Get Gone is impressively credited and immaculately produced (mixed at Electric Lady Studios in NYC and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Studios in Portland), but it'd be a disservice to imply that the 16-minute EP contains anything in the way of original or exciting ideas. Instead, let's just applaud the local boys for going for it. While the shopworn nostalgia and adolescently romantic themes of the four Coldplay-lite songs on Years Get Gone break no new musical or thematic ground — okay, "Not Yet" plays with interesting dynamics before yielding hurriedly to its confectionary chorus — it's clear the Cape Elizabeth natives, fronted by brothers Abner and Harper Willis, are on an unusual trajectory anyway. In January, they penned a quixotic missive about the hardships of the "school of rock" in Time magazine, bemoaning how broke they are despite providing a laundry list of their own accolades and investments in the music industry. It's a tone-deaf article that the online community rightly excoriated, yet it still manages to provide a more meaningful (if accidental) perspective than anything you'll find on Years Get Gone. Nothing personal against these guys — we can't imagine they won't make it big — but let's be adults here: this isn't a band, it's a business. Hear selections from Years Get Gone at twolights.bandcamp.com.
• October brings us an arresting new record by the unique and hardworking alt-folk songwriter Liza Victoria, a/k/a LISA/LIZA. Titled Ancient Edge, the eight-song LP is a blissful little sojourn through contemporary psych and rural folk forms, reminding us of the mesmerizing shoegaze of Grouper, the plucky earnestness of Cat Power, and the gone-mad songs of Belfast songwriter CAETHUA. We'll hope to do a full review soon; for now, treat yourself to a free download at lisalizas.bandcamp.com.
• As far as we can tell, the new and mysterious DEAD LANGUAGE COLLECTIVE is a movement of disparate artists hosting parties, releasing tapes, and playing shows as a sort of unified front. Emerging from former affiliations with local punk and hardcore scenes, the project appears to be spearheaded by CRUEL HAND vocalist Chris Linkovich, whose own contribution bears little relation to the brutal throwdowns of his primary band. A new tape collection spans all genres, from the weird garage-industrial YOUTH SEX PACT to (American Nightmare guitarist) TIM COSSAR'S EXIT SONGS to the beatmapped crunk of FRESH FUCKS. Four DLC groups play Slainte October 26 at 9 pm; more info on the label's sampler cassette can be found at deadlanguagecollective.tumblr.com.
: New England Music News
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