Lying in States, Most Every Night

The debut LP from this Chicago quintet reveals a band with more than a fair share of ability tucked under its wing. And all over Most Every Night they use it to maximum effect, inspired in their hooks, devastating in their compact, intense syncopation. Rock riffs abound in the vein of Unwound and Swervedriver, vocals growl atop growling guitars, moan across moaning synths. While the whole album shows their undeniable competence and infectious energy (reasons enough to recommend everyone stand up and take serious, serious notice of this record), there is a single, brilliant moment that defines Lying in States as being more than just a great rock band, and altogether onto something brilliant.

A musical diptych, ‘Vie Capital Ponk’ and ‘Return of the Cornea’ lie back to back in the first half of the album. The simple lead-off bass synth doesn’t prepare us for what’s in store in ‘Vie Capital Ponk,’ when the vocals and guitar roar into action. The song chugs along at a steady pace, intermittently plunging into raucous bursts of guitar and vocals, easily lazing us into submission with its sweet, jazzy electric piano. Then the song breaks down into a rainy, lazy interlude, some sort of Led Zeppelin-ish fairie interlude, with angular chromatic guitar edging ever so insistently in, pleading to disturb the mood, to return to the electric riff work from before. Which it then does, over and over, exploding, reforming, over and over again. Building itself up, breaking down. Until an abrupt end, a half-beat, then…

‘Return of the Cornea’ picks up immediately in a triumphant glow, dismantling the dark imagery of its predecessor’s riffs, replacing it with positive colors, all still at that strong, confident pace. The new chorus plays off the same awkward, Polvic disturbance that ended the previous song’s interlude. It becomes apparent that the two songs fit together perfectly, spooning in alternate realities, recalling each other upon repeat listens, unbreakable in their parity. When hearing them separately the listener will remember notes from the other. Brilliant.

With this tiny, two-part electric/electronic-rock symphony, Lying in States is playing with something great indeed. And as soon as it ends, they leave you wanting more and more of it.

[ site | MP3 1 | MP3 2 | MP3 3 | purchase ]

Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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