Indie. Passion. Art. Music.
Is fear ever a good thing? It obviously has a purpose, and for most animals that purpose is the fight or flight response (aka survival). But then there are human beings who fear all sorts of abstract things like success, failure, commitment, rejection, public speaking, and the unknown. In the face of these things fight or flight doesn’t really apply, and as humans we have to work through these fears and hope to understand the underlying issues that lead to them. These fears often become the subject of books, movies, paintings, and in this case music. The guys at The Luna Laval work through some personal subject matters on their latest EP A Good Fear and below we will decide whether the fear is good, bad, or otherwise so follow the unnecessary ellipses to the next paragraph…
New Jerseyites (that’s definitely not how you say it) The Luna Laval released A Good Fear back in January of this year with the help of alt-rock Producer Mike Watts (has worked with The Dear Hunter and As Tall As Lions). This is their second EP, their first being Horoscopes released back in 2012, which helped them establish a bit of a following in their home state.Now, they are back with a new release and it seems the band is veering off into different territory this time out, which sees them exploring a more robust, colorful, and lively sound. The record is definitely well put together and the sound harkens to those familiar with Six Gallery and Children of Nova. That means there is a subtle math rock influence, nothing too crazy, with a touch of progressive rock thrown in for the sake of weirdness .
The mood of the album is not unlike the titles of one of its songs: Bittersweet. On the surface the songs are definitely pleasing to the ear but beneath those sweet tones are things like fear, uncertainty, and anxiety, which each of the songs addresses. Structurally, the band actually leaned more to the poppy side than I would have expected, with infectious hooks and choruses, especially during the song “Ataraxia” which is surprisingly dancey in its delivery. The vocals are airy, a bit throaty, and distant, fitting in well with the music as opposed to overpowering it.
A Good Fear only lacks in one regard in my opinion and that is the EP’s length, but that is a matter for another album to address. Pound for pound this is a pretty solid release (that sounds gross) as all of the songs are melodically pleasing and sonically engaging; so if you were expecting a low point, well, you might be a little disappointed. So, for the time being we can all just set our iPods and iPhones on repeat and begrudgingly wait for the next release from the The Luna Laval (the clock starts now guys).
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