Formed by two members of post-rock outfit Sleep Lady, this Brooklyn-based husband/wife duo seem to be in a hurry. In just three years they released two EPs, one full album and they are back already with full-length number two. Is that a bad thing? Listening to “Seismic”, clearly not.
Opening track “Seismic” kicks off in much the same way as recent Mogwai songs have. Just a couple of notes on a keyboard, yet they immediately manage to whip up an atmosphere that is both warm and ominous. Then a sludgy riff kicks in. Nothing fancy, just huuuuuuge. And then they keep on building from there. Hypnotizing, mesmerizing. Vocals don’t even come into play into four minutes into the song, something that would normally make the punkrocker in me very suspicious. But Spotlights already me hooked by that point. Is it shoegaze-y sludge? Or sludgy shoegaze? Who cares… it’s friggin’ beautiful.
Think of a heavier version of Nothing, Jesu with nastier guitars or Deftones without the vocal outbursts. And then throw in some of Mogwai’s vastness. “Learn To Breathe” heads down the same path, big, heavy and ominous sounding with a repetitive synth line that keeps jabbing. “The Size Of The Planet” rounds out this promising start, by slowing things down to a crawl and somehow sounding even more massive because of it.
I’m not entirely convinced if “Seismic” needed to go on for the 69 minutes that it does. Fatigue does start to set in towards the end. Luckily, the band does still treat you to “The Opening”. If this album had a single, this one would have been my choice. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it poppy, but with the melodies they worked in, it does come close. Personally, I would’ve have called it a day after the 9-minute-long “Hollow Bones,” yet Spotlights somehow felt it was necessary to launch into another 9-minute-long cut that isn’t nearly as good as anything else on “Seismic”. And then they went ahead and added they went ahead and added another wholly unnecessary song in the form of “The Hope Of A Storm”.
If they learn to trim things down a bit next time around, I’m guessing there is little that can stop this self-described dreamsludge band from really going seismic on our ass.
- Learn To Breathe
- The Size of the Planet
- Ghost of a Glowing Forest
- Under the Earth
- A Southern Death
- The Opening
- What Is This, Where Are We
- Hollow Bones
- Hang Us All
- The Hope of a Storm