Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun is an awkwardly named Atlanta rock band with electro tendencies. The name might not trip off the tongue (and, indeed, Tracers gets is backwards every single time she says the name), but this is a band that you should become familiar with. They are doing some things that are interesting and, more importantly, not like what everyone else in this city is doing.
Heavyweight Champions is apparently their third EP. It contains four new songs and three remixes of previously released tracks. The press download that i received include an additional remix, just to make me feel special.
Before i go over the tracks, i need to discuss the one problem i have with this band. Specifically, they havenít figured out how to record themselves yet. The songs are complex with lots of layers, but each layer sounds flat and lifeless, and actually bleeds into all of the other layers a bit too much. There is no energy in the recording. I am not technically skilled enough to say exactly what is wrong here, but i can listen to this EP, and listen to similar releases (like, say, the latest Tealights EP) and i know that this doesn't sound as good as it could. Maybe they should think about hiring a real producer next time.
It's a shame really. I can only hope that the sonic limitations that i am hearing are due to poor compression on the MP3s the band sent me and not endemic to the actual CD itself. Wait, is there even a CD of this? While these details seem minor, they so have a big effect on a band. That is to say, it is easy enough to clear these things up (use different MP3 compression / take more care in mastering), but if they are not done they are going to turn off potential listeners. No matter how catchy your songs are, no one is going to listen to them if the songs are knee deep in mud. (Well, no one but Pavement fans, and we donít count them anyway.)
Okay, so, four new songs. The first of these is called Bones, which is a Curve-like rocker. Guitars saw through some heavy fuzz and the beats (recorded flatly in a room down the hall) thud in a frenzied manner. Over this vocalist Lauren sings (her voice the cleanest sound here), while keyboards plink away in a chiming tone. It moves nicely and is a fun, frenzied tune.
Apologia is a slower and gothier tune. Here, TTM,TTS are less Curve, more VNV Nation. Lauren's voice is clean and up front again (a common layering style for the band), and strange sounds pulse deep in the bass range over thudding deep drumming. I like the guitars here, which are echoed slightly.
On Heavyweight Champion TTM,TTS again channel a different influence. This song is more trip-hop, in the mode of say, Lamb, than it is anything else. Lauren sings slow and sultry, and the drumbeat is a nice plodding. The guitars and keyboards are tortured and drawn out. The whole thing moves at a languid pace. I like this type of music, and i think that this is a great example of the genre.
TTM,TTS continue to mix it up on The Atlantan. Guitars dominate the electro influences here. In fact, this is almost a rock tune with no electro modification. This is a slight keyboard clicking in the background, but otherwise this is guitars and voice. Another good tune.
This ends the original tunes portion of the EP. The remaining 3 songs (4 on my press copy) are remixes. We start off with Faster Than Some (Beats and Fleets v2), the original of which was on the Hurry Up and Wait EP, from early 2008. This is much like The Atlantan in that it is constructed of voice and guitar. I am unfamiliar with the original, but this version is decent enough.
Next we are treated to two remixes of Like It Or Not, which was on The Lightning Exhibit EP from late 2008. We start with Like It (remix a), which is TTM,TTS remixed as a progressive trance act from the mid 1990s -- think Juno Reactor or Sabres of Paradise. Lauren's voice dominates a sea of pulsing techno synths and keys. It's a weird throwback. Next is Or Not (remix b), which is a little more modern sounding. Here Lauren's voice is over some clanking beats. This is almost an industrial tune, and almost an IDM tune. It works pretty well.
My press copy came with the Free Magic vs. Sapeshifter Remix of Never. Always. Good., which is probably TTM,TTS's best tune to date. Here the song has been twisted into a crazy funky space disco tune, with the voice in layers and various distortions, over some synth bass and chugging beats. A really great mix for a very fun version of this interesting song.
The EP clocks in at just over 30 minutes, or just under forty with "reviewer bonus remix". On the whole it is pretty worthwhile. It could be better, with cleaner production and/or compression, but at least it is interesting music. I look forward to more from this young local band. They have some interesting ideas, and i want to see where their ideas take them. I hope that they get the assistance of someone who knows how to record them well, so that they sound their best.