The Life and Times | The Magician EP (Stiff Slack)

The Life and Times are still entrenched in deceptively mellow rock with plenty of spacey elements.

 

My Bloody Valentine is a huge influence on Life and Times guitarist/vocalist Allen Epley's songwriting. In the latter days of Epley's prior outfit Shiner (whom from this day forward I will never mention in any article, review, or dissertation about Life and Times again), they even contributed a cover MBV's "Only Shallow" for the Soak Your Shoes in Red Wine and Strike the Angels Dumb compilation. While largely present on their brilliant debut LP Suburban Hymns, the MBV influence really sticks out on this EP.

However, Life and Times are still entrenched in deceptively mellow rock with plenty of spacey elements. Released on the Japanese imprint Stiff Slack, The Magician is the label's first release to have a Stateside distributor in the Holy Grail of indie labels; Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records. On The Magician, the Life and Times picks things up where Suburban Hymns left off in sound, style, and quality. Recorded by the (choose your own "Holy shit! This guy is good! superlative) J. Robbins, the disc sounds incredible.

Totaling five cuts, L&T's new EP is roundly excellent—discounting the iffy "Killing Them Softly"—from the opener "I Know You Are" through the closer "The Sound of the Ground." While Suburban Hymns lifted the Life and Times to a level that one always expected from them from the get-go, The Magician shows that this KCMO outfit are at the top of their game. A | David Lichius

RIYL: Riddle of Steel, Traindodge, Roman Numerals

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