Friday, January 18, 2013
Land of Pines on Fin Records
Fin Records with a special focus on the local Seattle scene came across this epic indie pop quintet, Land of Pines to put together their debut release on vinyl. Not that they haven't been around playing together for at least five years, first as a two piece of current vocalists Evan and Kessiah and then a couple years later Spencer Miller (bass), Kyle Holland (drums), and Alex Miller (keyboards/percussion) joined to start working those early arrangements into the dense shifting super pop that's reminding me of The Lilys minus the glam (?) influence. This is bubbly indie pop with a helluva lot of changes that let you know these are agonized over, intricate tracks that deserve complete attention.
A-Side's "Dead Feathers" sets the tone with an insanely big sound, inexplicably pressed at 33 for the length, but it's loud as hell, mastered right up to the ceiling and that crystal clear high melody guitar comes shining through along with some intricate bass work. Not to mention this soaring vocal of ultra indie, a perfect match for that bassline and chugging guitar. The distortion kicks on to amplify the situation, but they're changing this every couple of measures in true quirky '90s pop style. Something like the Swirlies in rhtyhm if not lower fidelity. No one could accuse them of that here, it's a precise emotional sound. Her vocals are so disarming it works to balance that almost inhuman direction. I'm a complete sucker for this heart on your sleeve, Bearsuit style or the curated stuff from Oddbox records lately. Enthusiastic, unabashed, reaching for the sky...joyous pop that you can't walk away from feeling anything could go wrong. They seriously pound this last meody into hyper shoegaze... and that drop off! Of course it cuts out on a freaking dime.
B-Sides's "Follow the Leader" turns on the weirdo machine beat, all in service of the big intro and that high twinkly electric, swapping vocals this time with Evan and his nasal Stipe style vocal. Land of Pines have this knack for smashing in all the little interesting bits they've recently picked up, like some kind of glittering collage that spills off the bulletin board and takes over the whole wall. Kurt Heasley should be a fan of this slow, groovy almost tropical feel that turns fuzzier. A wind blows in as this slowly creeps out with drum stick hits on the metal stand and a quieter melody. Etherial chimes and ufo synths whir in with the tension of knowing where they're always about to go. They aren't just going to let it end here. It's going to stop turn left, no right, don't tease me with this snare roll, the march is coming. This long to build it up, why do they want to knock it down? Well it got too damn high that's why... the electric upper registers turn into a pingyg metallic sound...high strings plucked abover the fretboard. Sampled loops loosely sketch in, and they did get pretty high didn't they?
Coke bottle green clear vinyl from Fin Records. Simple, understated sleeve with tiny delicate handwriting. I have to say, they're much bigger in person.