Sap Laughter is chilled like champagne and yet it’s sweet and easy character is far from fancy. Picture a loosely assembled outfit of gentlemen, hands clinging to the shapes of old mason jars full of tea and lined with stains of haze. It’s all a sedated brew of relaxation and grooves, heavily draped in bright guitar, this being key in their lead melodies and richly painted strum patterns. Effects are used lightly on their album Catacombs while the attack stays at a near constant medium because no one’s trying to push the limits here.
This is music for the reclined, for the dreamers, for the introverted. Most of the songs flirt with a kind of gently distorted surf quality, which is encouraged along by the album art. A wave cresting and approaching the shore might just be a nice picture, but I see a deeper meaning. It touches on the connection of humanity to nature and narrates beautiful musings between the two. Track to track, things don’t differ much at all so this album is best prescribed as a whole. It flows like the tide and breathes salty.
Catacombs has a solid mix of instrumentals that balance out nicely. In fact, I didn’t even notice until the second time around. I think it’s a stroke of original genius to share the record with pure frontal musicianship as well as standard lyricism. Only thing I would say, an ironically timed comment nonetheless, is that “Intuition” sounds just like the intro to “One Of These Nights” by the Eagles. If you didn’t hear that initially, you will now. Sorry, it’s still awesome.
“Circles” has a nice funky turn around beat paired with some simple guitar play and just the right amount of bass, sitting deep and soft in the mix. The vocals finish things off with reserved projection and airy harmonies, setting the tone for all to come. “Out of Love” almost just sounds like an extension of “Circles.” The tempos don’t vary too much on this album, but “Rest In Peace” pushes things a few clicks toward the end and even introduces a Latin vibe. Despite moments of urgency, the groove is ever- present acting like a gravitational force for the laid back halftime that permeates like a soul tone. Sap Laughter move with patience and have a pretty special collection here.
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