Landing took a break for a few years, but after re-appearing last June, they seem to have become quite active. They released this 32 minute EP just 6 months after releasing their first album in six years.
For this release, bassist Dick Baldwin takes some time off, so the band is stripped down to a three-piece. Based on the liner notes, it looks like Adrienne Snow just sings, while husband Aaron does most of the music, assisted by Daron Gardner on bass and electronic loops.
If the Landing LP was the band focused and poppy, the Wave Lair EP find them introspective and noodley. Personally i like both sides of the band. This is also them at their most electronic, which not everyone will enjoy. However, i find that Landing are an act you just need to relax with. They are going on a journey, and you just need to sit back and let them take you where they will. So, after rocking out, Landing want to wander some electronic sci-fi landscapes. Okay, cool.
The whole EP starts with an electronic burbling, over which a fast drum machine, soaring synths, and rumbling bass erupt. It is the sound of Landing trying their hardest to channel M83. Adrienne Snow's voice comes in, faint and almost buried in the layer of synths. Patterns is a sparkly, fun tune.
The next track, Resonance uses a lot of tremolo to create a swaying motion. Gardner plays a deep bass groove, and the drum machine hits a flat steady beat. This sounds a lot like early Seefeel, only Adrienne's voice is a bit more buried in the mix than Sarah Peacock ever was. It is an epic drone, but then again i really like this sort of dense, slow but steady electro.
Resonance fades out slowly, and the electro burbling transforms into Cover Bare Arms. The drum machine clicks and a bass riff joins deep in the background, rumbling along with the clicking beat, and for that first minute Landing are doing Kompakt Berliner dub. And then the Snows come in, his guitar tinkling as keyboards chime and her voice faint, a whispering deep in the background. The drums step up a little and suddenly it sounds like an Ova Looven tune. A very nice transition, and i like the way that the guitars chime as the synths soar and Aaron sings lightly. Lovely.
So for the first three tracks Landing remind me of various other bands i like. However, on the 19-minute Wave Lair, Landing cut loose and sound like no one else but themselves. This starts with a stuttering programmed beat, all fuzzy and quiet, tapping away while guitars and synths noodle. The song builds really slowly, and at about 9 minutes Adrienne starts singing. Yes, half of the almost twenty minute song is a wandering instrumental. It is trippy and very old-school, and Landing used to make full records of this type of stuff. It sounds good, but i know that it will try the patience of most listeners.
Now, this release came out on vinyl courtesy of the awesomely named label These Are Not Records! However, if you look on Landing’s BandCamp page there is a fourth, bonus track. The bonus track puts the total length at about 36 minutes, and since they are selling downloads of the whole thing for $5, that comes out to about $0.04 a second. That is some bargain music right there people!
Anyway, the bonus track is called Cove. The drum machine kicks like the drum machine Cocteau Twins used in the early 1980s, that big, echoing sound. Over this, layers of synths complete with sparse guitar work as Aaron Snow sings lightly. A pleasant tune, and a nice way to end the EP.
So i enjoyed this release. I like to see Landing experimenting more with electronic elements. Then again, at this point i am pretty much along for the ride as far as this band goes.
I wonder where they will take us next?