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the pathetic caverns - music by artist - Landspeedrecord!

eclectic reviews and opinions

Landspeedrecord!

Intermission

(Resin 2004/Morphius 2006)

With Intermission, this venerable Baltimore-based indie/punk outfit makes a quantum leap beyond its previous albums in almost every aspect. The band is tighter, and sounds far more comfortable with the possibilities of studio recordings. Intermission is enlivened by detuned slide guitar, glitch-pop computer edits, and other touches a punk outfit can't reproduce on stage. It also makes great use of Carrie LoGiudice's cello (she's since left the band). The instrument's tones add warmth to many of these songs, but they also make "Why Ask Why" even colder and creepier. Landspeedrecord!'s main man Charles Jamison mixed and engineered Intermission himself -- with some "help" from Mike Rippe (Girls Against Boys, Shudder to Think) -- but the record has sonic richness and subtlety that's unusual in self-recorded projects.

Intermission also steps up the songwriting quality. Landspeedrecord! have flirted with catchy choruses in the past, but hasn't delivered hooks as solid as those in "Flavor for Every Taste" and "The Linda Lovelace Memorial Fund."

The band's biggest liability is still Jamison's voice. He writes parts with notes higher than he can comfortably and accurately sing. He sounds much better in the lower part of his range, where he has more presence and character. Jamison's lyrics are full of clever wordplay, but the density of references to pornography and compulsive or transgressive sexual behavior is a little discomfiting in the aggregate. But these flaws aren't enough to stop me from proclaiming this one of the best indie rock/punk albums I've heard this year.

Intermission comes with a bonus CD that combines a career retrospective with a handful of demos for the next Landspeedrecord! album.

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