Monday, May 12, 2014

Ladyhips - Live at Farmtone EP

Ladyhips return with their new EP Live at Farmtone. These guys have taken their immense skill and decided to explore some of the fringes of genre and songwriting, and they pull it off with ease!

"In The Ballroom" has a heavy retro vibe, harkening back to the smoother disco sounds from the late 70's. Flavors of R&B and heavy effects also add to this song in some pretty interesting ways. All of the instruments are expertly blended and wonderfully toned! I always like being thrown a curve ball by a band and when compared to their debut album "Best Friends" I would certainly call this song a curve ball. The softened ending is super classy and tasteful, as the melody explores new territory.

"Westmoreland" from the first lick has a hearty country western flavor, without the unsavory vocal twang that can be so often found there. I don't know why but this song at certain points gives me a real Gish vibe too, which is weird for something with this much folk and attitude in it. One thing that is becoming apparent as this EP gets deeper is that these guys are getting better at writing complex and genre crossing songs. Before the 3 minute mark in this song it turns into a sort of funk song with a guitar lead. This EP is full of surprises.

"What's That Racket" is a little harder to define by genre, but also doesn't sound much like "Best Friends" era either. It's definitely got a funk element but its also a bit more soulful and reserved. The vocals are a little more unhinged and muted. I feel like this song does very well at shows. This is another song, of so many in this bands catalog that showcases just how exceptional all these musicians are and how well those talents blend together.

Closing out the EP is "Our Conscience" which starts with a sort of latin beat before taking a turn into Pedro The Lion or Bedhead territory. It's darker than I am used to hearing this band go, but again, I like the challenge as much as they seem to. This song definitely jumps all over the place in wonderful patterns. This song has similar vocals effects as the last song, a little muted and doubled and it works in a very unsettling way. I think it adds dimension to the overall sound especially well here. Super cacophony outro to this song!

This EP is an artistic success in my eyes because these guys have more than expanded upon the potential of "Best Friends" and branched out in several extremely distant directions. They have experimented and the results are in: This EP is great and you should get it

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