The Persian Leaps – “Praise Elephants”

PerisanLeaps

Review by Christine Mlodzik

With a name like the Persian Leaps, I expected something exotic, a sound that would require me to buy armloads of incense to set the listening mood. Not so! The band describes themselves as a noise pop band from St. Paul, Minn., and you know what? That’s exactly what they are.

The Persian Leaps is Drew Forsberg (vocals, guitars), Brad Hendrickson (bass, guitars, vocals) and Mike McCloskey (drums, vocals), and their debut EP “Praise Elephants” features five hyper-catchy tunes that whiz by in less than 30 minutes.

“Praise Elephants” is a nod to 80s post-punk. “Hard Feelings” starts things off on the right foot with pristine and clear harmonizing, brimming with influences by The Smiths and Morrissey. Each of the songs are short and snappy, with some sharp edges (Hard feelings on parade / Took their lemons – choked on the lemonade) and endings.

Next is “Not That Brave” and what follows is my favorite track on the album, “Silent Treatment.” It’s damn catchy and after hearing it just once, it’ll burrow into your subconscious and take root, its melody coming back to you when you least expect it. The EP is rounded out by “Exponentially Devoted” and “Sleepless.”

The Persian Leaps is a group with potential you can’t ignore. Check them out.

http://thepersianleaps.com/

Beasthead – “Tallest Trees”

BEASTHEAD

Review by Christine Mlodzik

Not that long ago, Beasthead sent in a video to Rift; it was of them playing at a house party. I’d never heard of Beasthead, but I really liked what I heard. Then they sent us a link to their newest EP, “Tallest Trees.” And I won’t lie, I was somewhat at a loss on how to describe them (this is my second pass at writing this review).

It’s too easy to describe Beasthead’s sound as ambient, although that’s one component – “Tallest Trees” is more of a continually evolving soundscape. Their music’s effect is like taking in visual art; much like looking at a fine painting, their music doesn’t require constant involvement on the listener’s part, he/she can hang in the background and simply add to the atmosphere, but this particular atmosphere is rife with sonic richness.

There’s a silky texture to the vocals and instruments as they thread around each other and finally intertwine. While at times it sounds a little disintegrated, more listens reveal simple, delicate loops that give way to fainter and shadowy works.

Beasthead is comprised of Harry Reynolds (vocals, guitar), Doug Deitchler (guitar, synth, percussion), Nick Whebbe (guitar) and Paul Novak (bass).

There are five tracks on this EP and “Numbers” and “Louder” were my favorites. Local rapper Dem Atlas is a guest vocalist on “Different Son.”

As much as I really like “Tallest Trees,” there’s just one thing I didn’t like: I am not a fan of autotuning vocals. At the beginning of “Numbers” you’ll hear Reynolds’ voice and in my opinion, it doesn’t need any affecting. Like I said, it’s just my opinion.

I recommend you buy “Tallest Trees,” listen, experience and repeat.

The EP is available online; hard copies of “Tallest Trees” will be available for free at Beasthead’s live shows.

https://www.facebook.com/beastheadband

July Fighter – ‘Live and Let Live’

cdcover

Review by Christine Mlodzik

The July Fighters call their new album, ‘Live and Let Live,’ their “most ambitious album to date.” I don’t know that I’d personally call it ambitious, but I would call it a departure from their previous albums. Continue reading

Velahsa – “Cookie Monster Ending”

a1217344659_2

Velahsa is a rock band featuring Bryan Miller (guitar, vocals and keyboard), Tony Marx (bass), and Jack Smrekar (drums); their new album is “Cookie Monster Ending.” Continue reading

Plume Varia “Prize | Enable”

PlumeVaria

Review by Christine Mlodzik

WOW.

One simple word encapsulates what I’m thinking and feeling after listening to Plume Varia, but I’m guessing that’s too simple a review. Continue reading

Crimes (MN) – “Thin Sunlight”

Thin Sunlight Cover

Review by Christine Mlodzik

On Crimes (MN)’s new album “Thin Sunlight,” the band has married a combination of sounds, that on paper, none of which seems like it should belong together, yet it all works in simpatico. Continue reading

Gospel Gossip – Self-Titled

Gospel Gossip

Review by Christine Mlodzik

After a three year lag, Gospel Gossip has returned with a new self-titled album. It’s a woozy dreamworld which threatens to swallow up the listener, but it’s unlikely anyone will resist being pulled in. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,989 other followers