So Many Mysteries by The Art Of Passing Time is an EP of psychedelia, garage rock, glam rock and electronica, fused together as if MGMT was hanging out with Lou Reed.
“We Might Just Live Again” opens the EP with psychedelic minimalist drive, almost a cross between Foxygen and the Velvet Underground. The bass line is interesting, the drums a bit unsteady, but the synths are quite interesting and really add a strong layer to what’s going on. There’s a shift in feel partway through the song, which really elevates the energy and the vocal melody really soars there. The instrumental interlude near the end is a nice break from the rapid fire lyrical assault, which while interesting is so constant it’s sometimes hard to appreciate them.
“Oh Look At Us” is based around pulsing piano and melodic chiming guitars. The melody and drive are quite catchy, and the guitar work really shines here playing with countermelodies and bluesy bends. Again, the lyrics and vocal are so continual, it sometimes feels like it’s a reading of a grocery list rather than playing into the musical backdrop of the song, which is a shame because the music is quite good on this song.
“6 A.M.” is the best song on the EP with a catchy hook and a kaleidoscope of synths and guitars that swirl around entangling fantastic tones and countermelodies. Here the lyrics and vocal really sit nicely in the pocket, letting them really stand out and revealing some clever and thoughtful lines. The song is compact and well constructed with each section introducing new instruments or tones, making for great development.
“If This Is Love” plays into an electronica vein with the programmed beats and stacks of synths. Some electric guitar work is displayed here with melodic accompaniments and a simple but very effective solo that transitions quite smoothly into a synth solo. The highlife influence in the groove lends almost a Talking Heads feel to it, which works quite well and effectively with the song.
“Dancing Down The Landslide” closes the EP with a ‘80s-esque dance track. The top of the song walks a thin line between kitch and reverence, but once the guitars and double-time drums come in, the song has a real drive to it, interweaving with an excellent bass line throughout. The chorus is a bit repetitive, but does get the point of the song clearly across.
Overall, The Art Of Passing Time has some real talent in constructing musical layers and backdrops. Some attention to space and how that could really help the vocals and lyrics could really help the songs soar.
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