Angles and rhythms aplenty from Portland's Lithics. Second album Mating Surfaces maintains momentum with fast riffs, mobile bass lines and tight drumming. Their rhythmic approach to the overlap between indie and punk is reminiscent of Dutch greats, The Ex. And if you know me that is certainly high praise.
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One conversation I seem to keep having is the ideal length of an album. And what those conversations usually boil down to is that an album should either be 3 hours or 30 minutes. Anything else is cowardly. Long but shorter than 3 hours? Where’s your ambition? Short but longer than 30? Excuse me, but have you heard about this cool thing called ‘concision’. It’s pretty important.
So a big thank you to Lithics for landing in the sub-30 sweet spot with their album 'Mating Surfaces'. There’s is a high energy, very precise post-punk, from which you get the sense that everything said on this album is only what they needed to say. If you need a point of comparison they’ve Parquet Courts momentum combined with The Ex’s knottiness. It’s all very sleek and angular, and very cool.
Beyond their reliably solid rhythm section the most interesting stuff going on in the band is the juxtaposition between their lead vocalists deadpan delivery and the frankly bewilderingly wonky guitars that have a habit of appearing out of nowhere on the tracks. It's shocking stuff. The guitars get their best work out on the album’s long song ‘Boyce’ which clocks in at a massive five! (5!) minutes. Very generously the band tend to avoid lengthy instrumental outros, meaning the presence of one here is welcome, especially as it shows off just how tight this band are.
Parsimony can very easily become a vice, but when it has a purpose it can also lead to an album as refined as this. Not a single wasted note, not a track too long.
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