April 22, 2006

Review: Languis | Other Desert Cities EP

Languis -- Other Desert Cities EPThe medically smoothed-out vocals of The Stones Roses, layers of guitars and synths and pulsing rhythms of Languis' Other Desert Cities give the EP a subtle allure, like a pleasant but hazy memory spurred by an unnameable scent. The L.A. nu-gaze foursome (whose two core members began collaborating 15 years ago, a time when many of the act's major influences were still going concerns) is as devoted to atmosphere as it is to melody. The group's compositions stretch and expand with a narcotic ease without ever droning on and on like the crazy lady on the subway.

"Falling From So High" is gently ushered in and out of focus with a kick-drum approximating a beating heart. That gentleness persists throughout the set, and a correlative lack of dynamics may make it hard for you to focus on Other Desert Cities without headphones or jacking up your stereo. Still, with songs reminiscent of Slowdive and Spiritualized, the band probably already has your attention anyway. Other Desert Cities, Languis' eighth release, streeted about a month ago on Pehr. You can watch download the album's opening cut "In The Fields (Of Lonely Fences)" here [right click and save as] and watch a video for the track "Times Are Changing" here.

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