Landmine is alternative rock and California fresh. Three high school friends: Parth Relan, Daniel Bortner, and Alex Vahidsafa had been playing music together since the summer of 2010 before they recently decided it was time to take things more seriously. Despite the fact that the three of them were scattered throughout California for most of the year, they got the job done through digital file sharing and making great use of their time away from school. In the summer of 2013, they came together to select the best tracks for an EP. I think they chose wisely and here’s just a taste of what’s in store on Rising Sun.
Unfortunately, my first impression of the album was via "Insane" and I thought that Daniel's voice doesn't quite land every note in the opening verse. But the music shapes such an atmosphere that it could easily go unnoticed to a less acute listener. It's the runs and register that could be brought down and reduced, creating a more comfortable palette for his vocals. Insane has an edge of building to it that starts out in secret and then moves obviously toward a peak with fuller drums and crescendo. At the breaking point, things fall away and the guitar and keys pan and dance while the drums get creative and craft an intricate alternating pattern between linear bass and quick exchange hats with splash cymbal. It's really a drummer idea, not particularly suiting the song, but as a drummer I dug it pretty hard.
"Fur Elise" is just what you would expect and executed very well. Beethoven's classic piano piece, but with a Landmine twist. The embellishments stick and build into a bash worthy 3/4 rocker that would get Ludwig himself to pump his fist. This was such a cool idea. I want to get busy on my own adaption. Classical music has so much room for modern interpretation and this approach was right up my alley.
"Give Me More" really takes off at the end. The guitar screams, the drums shake the room, and the feedback exits the song. I almost think this song could have been listed last; it has a very final sense to it and showcases the band’s musicianship in a very cool narrative. Up until then, it had been a slow death of simple rock invading a chillness of what was almost a pseudo-electronic vibe. There are plenty of great moments on Rising Sun and I would encourage anyone to check it out.
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