Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Album Review: Lilac Shadows - Shallow Madness

The new EP from Carrboro’s Lilac Shadows, Shallow Madness, is made of a strange substance. It’s thick, but not impenetrable. It’s slick, but not artificial.

Listening to Shallow Madness is like diving into a viscous liquid. Remain still and the music — particularly “Rise” and “What Dreams” — will suspend you in its depths. However, put forth enough kinetic energy and “Bloodworth” and the title track will keep you in endless motion.

Lilac Shadows is Sam Logan, Derek Torres, and Karen Blanco of T0W3RS as well as Zack Oden from Annuals. The group’s addictive sound is possible because they build their layers of psychadelic synths atop a solid foundation of melody. When the propulsive second half of “A Shallow Madness” kicks in, it’s clear these aren’t pointless pallets of sonic textures.

Logan’s voice stands out among the textures on the EP. The nasal timbre of his voice separates it from the precise guitars and synths that orbit around it. It’s imperfect, but it shows the listener there is something real at the center of this universe and it gives the underwhelming lyrics a bit of character.

Lilac Shadows is a promising young band and they’ve done a lot with a little. Even with only four tracks (and four short intros to each track), Shallow Madness is a substantial and satisfying record.

Shallow Madness is out now through DiggUp Tapes and the band will play the Vote Against Amendment One show at Kings on May 4 with Cassis Orange.

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