Friday, March 16, 2012

White Laces / Arches split on Worthless Junk Records

Here's a split single from White Laces out of Richmond, VA and Philly duo Arches, both of which are messing with some layers of hazy guitar among other things, takign distinctive sounding directions on Worthless Junk Records, who are putting out the best of Virginia...along with Harding St. Assembly Labs this state better be well covered.

The White Laces track, "Dissolve into color" starts out with some incredible guitar tones, crazy warbly layers of distortions, two distinct jangly voices coming together in harmony with a pop quickness and chorus that's reminding me immediately of I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. Those similar nostalgic roots of those pop elements, tearing them up and collecting the best pieces, the real timeless sharp hooks. The vocals are almost the best part of those pieces... this tight echo with crazy energy like The Walkmen or Abe Vigoda, this powerful chant/yelling, trailing off before the layers finish each others sentences. Over enunciating in a way you have to pay close attention to have any idea what's actually being said. Swinging from an epic Mogwai-esque chorus to an Elvis Costello bouncy sheen. It gets real melodic in the chorus going super pop, all super punchy sounding. The percussion popping, switching between an indie jangle and the epic build.
How they can have this compelling of a track and still I can't make out a word? Why are they intent on being this mysterious? It's not spelled out, it's almost just another sound to mess with...what happened in that photo? A natural disaster, some kind of bomb?

Arches with "Late Last Night" on the reverse side is going after their own warped guitar sounds...that Lonesome Crowded West string bending is a pivitol element of this relaxed melody. The vocals are equally as singleminded, an almost high falsetto, coming from a sort of country sound, under bales of Wooden Wand maybe, a similar relaxed strumming and melody, but with a cartoony downstroke of bendy chords. There's so much environmental sound and tone layers, a simple piano sound is something else entirely. That striking string vibration becomes a harpischord...or panning synth. Equally as epic as the A-Side at a much slower tempo, both proving there's a lot of new guitar tones to be heavily crafted in the forges of superpop with a tremolo guitar warble back and forth across both speakers.

Arches and White Laces first met in the fall of 2010 in the cramped dining area of Foodswings in Brooklyn, NY before their show at the now-defunct Bruar Falls. After a brief courtship built on mutual admiration and the mysteries of Connecticut, the band went on the road together in the summer of 2011. On returning, Arches recorded a handful of songs in a church in Philadelphia. Among them was “Late Last Night”, the beautifully somnambulate jam featured on this split. Meanwhile, White Laces drove south to the backwoods of Roanoke, Virginia to record the nervous and chiming “Dissolve Into Color” direct to tape at the hallowed Mystic Fortress.

Empty, broken room photo on the sleeve as weirdly sad as these contents... you fill in the blanks and order this one from Worthless Junk Records.

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