Chicago is a great city for music. It has some of the best venues in the country including The Empty Bottle and The Metro; it is home to the Smashing Pumpkins as well as well-known producers such as Steve Albini. Chicago also puts on some of the best festivals like Pitchfork and Lollapalooza. There are a countless number of bands coming from the city and a lot of them sound as if they might be misplaced misfits from the Touch and Go label. You can say this might be the case with On Landing who is a young four-piece who just released a short EP called Distances. It contains three songs (plus an intro) that are built on distorted guitar chords, thunderous drumming, underplayed bass work and catchy vocals. The songs are a bit of a throwback to some of the alternative acts that emerged from the early 90’s but also utilize some more contemporary styles that weren’t apparent until around 2005 and beyond.
The album begins with a 53-second intro called “And The Stars Begin To Align” built on a fast guitar riff and a steady kick drum that progresses with haste, eventually becoming a concoction of multiple instruments that create a tornado of chaos. The intro is really just a transition into “Constellations,” a solid song that has an ample amount of energy thanks to the energetic drumming. The singer’s voice has a childlike quality to it that is fitting for the music and is somewhere between a generic power pop band like Jimmy Eat World and something a little bit more suitable for indie rock. Either way it works and in the end proves these guys have some talent. The highlight for me on the EP was “The Haunting,” which had some interweaving guitar work that coalesced very well together. One of the guitars panned hard left and the other hard right. You could hear the distinct parts and it got better as the song progressed. The drum work was again top notch and a huge part of the song. The EP closes with “Distances,” which is a rocker. It’s pretty much a shot of adrenaline from beginning to end despite the fact they use melodic, clean guitar picking - I think it was the double bass drum that provided the extra boost
This is a solid start for On Landing. Their sound is predictable but often makes up for it in the visceral experience. Keep your eye on this band and in the meantime check out this effort.
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