Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lavinia - There is Light Between Us

Don’t let the Roman goddess name fool you into thinking this mini album has much in common with ancient lore. Depressive and bright at the corners, the debut EP from Boston four-piece Lavinia wears its heart and its influences on its sleeve. Guitarist/vocalist Nate Shumaker (formerly of Eksi Ekso) sings in a style much similar to the darker evolutions of the late 1990’s pop metal vocalists (think Cold or Staind without the abrupt screams of angst), and aches himself into lyrics of loss and heartbreak. The music combines elements of that 90’s era with flights of post-rock and post-metal. The influence-worship comes into full effect on “Fires”, sporting that unmistakable, liquid, reverberating bass that often defined the ISIS sound. Lavinia breaks free a little toward the end of the EP, where banjo and slide take predominant roles, but even here it reminds the ear of Red Sparowes. Closer “Bone & Arrow” presents the biggest ray of hope, both in atmospheric quality and in originality. Here Shumaker’s vocals are seldom, often leaving the banjo and slide to carry the voice duties. The blistering wall of tremolos reinforces that this band features members of Eksi Ekso, Caspian and a few other Boston post rock acts. The song goes beyond these parts, however, offering the most diverse array of internal dynamics on the EP. It’s a decent effort overall, and while the EP sounds great, and I want to root for the band, I cannot help but think that this release is going to fade away under the sheen of Lavinia’s future output. There Is Light Between Us feels more like an ode to the last decade in rock music, and is more of a stepping stone for a developing band than anything memorable.

No comments: