Monday, August 13, 2012

Album Review : Lorelei “Enterprising Sidewalks”



You can really trace the ‘post-rock’ theme in music back to The Velvet Underground, although the listener may not recognize the influences. In the early ‘90s, the term was used by English Music critic, Simon Reynolds who is most famous for his writings on electronic dance music, electronica and even ‘Trance’. He is credited with coining the term in his review of Bark Psychosis' album Hex, published in the March 1994 issue of Mojo magazine. Coincidentally (or not) the Washington, DC based three-piece, Lorelei cut their most famous (at least in post-rock circles) album Everyone Must Touch The Stove in ‘94. Though the term has been applied to a vastly differently sounding array of bands and music, it’s agreed that post-rock is music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures rather than riffs and power chords". Electronica has the same roots. Usually, bands in this subgenre are instrumental groups and you could say that instead of playing music they play ‘moods’.


To my ear, Velvet Underground and Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd and even some early Door’s can be found in their DNA. this their first new album since 1994 and Matt Dingee on guitar, Stephen Gardner on bass and Davis White on drums have  earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the most unique  bands around, with a very distinctive blend of post-rock dynamics, sneakily melodic song-writing and ear-blasting guitar noise. Enterprising Sidewalks picks right up where Lorelei left off in ‘94, serving up ten gorgeously complex exercises in pummeling rhythms and melodic abstraction with hook-y dream pop lyrics to lure you in. 


Lorelei - Hammer Meets Tongs by Slumberland Records

Tunes like "Hammer Meets Tongs" and "Sorry For The Patience" are as full rich with rhythmic twists and melodic intrigue as their very best material, and Matt's guitar attack is as varied as ever, ranging from ringing harmonics to shredding feedback and back, often within the same verse.  

Enterprising Sidewalks is out August 14th, and the band are playing a series of shows leading up to and accompanying the release, including their first-ever west coast gigs. Fractured song structures and a dynamic sonic palette have helped Lorelei stand the test of time.


The Dirty Lowdown

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