a/k/a Weirdness Is the New Loudness
By Nick Sylvester
To some extent we all knew this was going to happen: People found out how much fun it is to play short, loud, fast punk songs. Guitarists chucked their Holy Grails, bought Twins, combed the postings for meathead drummers. I was there! I was fucking there in 2008 wondering when this was going to happen, and now the transformation is complete, with stuff like Beach Fossils and Real Estate and Neon Indian the sole salaried survivors of the Brooklyn Chill Era. Just the fact that people talk about how good drummers in rock bands are now--it's a weird fucking thing!
I'm not tired of loud, fast punk bands, but what excites me about EULA is they're among the first to bail--to peace out on the loudness war. At least for a few tunes. For them, it's now about the power of intimacy and careful dissonance, and of classic songcraft's restraint cum release. I'd say "less Lydia Lunch, more David Lynch" if Lydia herself hadn't gone through a similar transformation.
Because not unlike last time punk became post-, the new loudness is... weirdness. You're loud and fast but who fucking cares! How many bands can "blow your face off" before you can't tell the difference between them anymore? That's what I like about EULA. You can keep your face! They merely want to turn you inside out.
Alyse Lamb's remarkable voice is how they do that. If you've seen them live, you know her wide range of expression, from cooing to caterwauling in no time. It lets this band pull off some powerful baits-and-switches. "I Collapse" begins like an intimate folk song then erupts into hysteria. "Little Hearts" takes up the comfy syntax of lounge music and nearly settles into it before Alyse rips up the naugahyde. The mixes are not unlike detective novels: listen a second time and you'll see the writing all over the yellow wallpaper.
Granted I can't tell you what Eula will do next. Maurice Narcisse, their debut full-length, rightfully praised by the eMusic editorial staff and comically overlooked by almost everyone else, is a mish-mash of no-wave and electro and, of course, good old short fast punk. I'm excited to see what happens. For now? Let these two songs mark Alyse Lamb's breakout moment. She's one of Brooklyn's most beguiling songwriters and frontwomen. We hope you like her nasty weather.
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21 FEB 2013 @ DEATH BY AUDIO w/ Grooms, The Flag, and more.
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Alyse Lamb: vocals, guitar
Jeff Maleri: bass
Nathan Rose: drums
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"I Collapse" recorded by Julian Fader and Carlos Hernandez in Brooklyn, NY
"Little Hearts" recorded by Gary Atturio at Galuminumfoil Productions in Brooklyn, NY
Both songs mixed by Nick Sylvester at The Wood Room, Brooklyn, NY
Both songs mastered by Joe Lambert at JLM Sound, Brooklyn, NY