One thing that I love about the indie label Gigantic Music is that you never quite know what to expect next from them. While most of their artists have been from close to NYC, such as the jangly pop of Human Television, Gigantic has brought in a Norwegian import for their next release. For those unfamiliar with Low Frequency In Stereo, as I was before receiving their new eight-track album, their songs cross a sea of genres ranging from surf rock to garage rock.
This four-piece group definitely enjoys lengthy instrumental passages in their songs, but don't let that scare you off. One thing that LFIS never loses is their knack for creating fantastic melodies throughout each song. The album begins with "Big City Lights," sounding like a nice slice of indie rock until the Doors-flavored organ kicks in. The song shifts to quirky surf rock for a minute or so until the vocals kick in, blasting back to a frantic indie rock feel. When the song ends, you can only sit back and ask yourself what in the hell just happened? They think way outside of the box, and that is a very good thing.
Although a large chunk of their album is instrumental, "21" is a vocal driven rocker that comes across as a strange hybrid of Sons And Daughters and The Raveonettes. It is one of the most accessible moments on the album, giving listeners a barrage of '60s mod with a hint of surf guitar and a smidge of garage rock. Fans of New York's Celebration will enjoy the spastic, disco drum fueled mayhem of "Jimmy Legs," a song that will send any drunken group of hipsters into a frantic fit of dancing.
My favorite moment on the album is the song "Axes," a Stereolab-ish jam filled with a pulsating bass line, organ, trumpets and sweet female vocals. As a longtime fan of the 'lab, this particular track is totally irresistible. This is one of the more gentle moments on The Last Temptation Of... Low Frequency In Stereo, which segues nicely into the hypnotic instrumental "Bahamas."
I like a good psych-rock jam like the next guy, and the title track is just that. This ten minute instrumental grooves along almost like a lost b-side from Kula Shaker, if Crispian Mills had just listened to a ton of The Doors, Pink Floyd and Seven Percent Solution. Once they have launched us into space, Low Frequency drops us back to the ground with the rockin' finale, "Red Flag."
With such diverse influences as Dick Dale and Spiritualized, Low Frequency In Stereo weaves them together effortlessly. Appealing to quite a broad cross section of music fans, this new album (their third) should give them the recognition here in the States that they deserve.