Laminar Flow – Summer Fling
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. While the Strokes-worshipping gazillions of bands are busy injecting their alternative rock with choppy chords and arrogant sounding vocals, Laminar Flow are opting for a different strategy. This Icelandic group has certainly read up on its alt-rock ABCs, but they’d rather break a few hearts along the way.
Summer Fling is built around sensitive sounding guitars and a four to the floor beat. The vocals shift from a cavernous howl to a towering, slightly over the top falsetto. The verse and choruses told the story of love won and lost, while the break is the artist’s conscience, letting him know that these days these goods are unlikely to return.
Laminar Flow has certainly got the spirit to do really nice things. The bombast of the composition is balanced by carefully thought-out production. This is a band that, moving in the same direction, will soon outgrow their current attire. But, watching them grow into their identity is half the fun and worthy of attention.
Hearing Trees – Fearless Kindness
Fearless Kindness makes the Canadian group Hearing Trees sound like either visionaries trying to marry different styles of rock music or a band who failed to inform the drummer of their intentions for the song.
I’d like to think it’s my first hunch. The one-two punk punch of the drum sound adds a lot of charm to the composition. The rest of the tune is something of a lament dominated by the guitar arpeggios.
The lyrics remind me of the poetry of the great David Berman (The Silver Jews), although they supposedly tackle the universal issue of global warming. Fearless Kindness is certainly a people-pleaser kind of a song, but one that is made with a lot of passion and ends up sounding very nice.