Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Deaf Leaf Echo "Kingmaker" self released
Dead Leaf Echo sent me a couple of their singles a while back and this local five piece is currently in Texas layering waves of distortion all over sxsw. Look like they just came out with a full length and headed straight to the insane-fest to play> I forget these guys play here pretty frequently and have been meaning to catch them...as much as I'm into this contained 45 experience, in a lot of ways this could be a completely different animal with everyone up there piling on the pedals, it's almost like that snapshot of the grand canyon...you sort of get the idea but there's a scale you'll just never understand.
A-Side track "Kingmaker" reminded me of Dead Leaf's very specific level of density and haze, the thing that stands out in this shoegaze sound is that the fog they create isn't necessarily loud, the sound as whole almost sits off in the background. It's that really great Loveless type of density that these guys have down, they've figured out haze isn't about everything being at full volume. It's a misconception that shoegaze has to be loud as hell, Dead Leaf sneaks...or almost suffocates this layered sound like a down comforter over your head. Right when it's getting to be fall, slightly chilly to the point that these guitars have so much chorus hey may as well be synth presets. There's no telling where these individual sounds start and end anymore. Breathy vocals with that sudden drop into chorus, they take risks veering suddenly off the sustained pathways, thae bass line and hard riffs unwilling to stay on this open, wide road. They complicate things further with a forced feedback that somehow keeps playing nice. A mile or so off the horizon, wearing blinders, staring into that mushroom cloud, it goes off... but it's just a low thud.
B-Side, "I belong". It's really precise for starting with it's inherently chaotic premise, there isn't a sloppy out of place sound, not one notch lower of the fideility they're going for. Smooth buoyant indie rock, with a lot of false builds, the tones are rising, you're reaching for the volume (downstairs neighbors) and they let you off easy. These waves are all rounded off, fading off, away right out of sight. Like the sun going down, imperceptible...but all of a sudden it's dark. Having just reconsidered Person Pitch which sounds as good as it first did and in entirely new ways by the way, this opening here wouldn't be so out of place on hat record even and it's funny I havent heard this connection before, there's almost no obvious rhythm to speak of, just the sound of a single (?) voice and high foggy guitar tones. They've hit on that perfect pitch of a vocal that's essentially matching this guitar, or maybe the other way around, better not muddy it up with any kind of forced rhythm - just go straight into the midrange that the ear is tuned in on, bass free. The vocalizations of a guitar and the slippery fading ahh's of a ghostly voice saying "I belong".
On solid royal blue vinyl from the bands' big cartel site, a nice touch alongside this blue sunkit print sleeve.