Less Art – Strangled Lights

Do you like loud sounds and overwhelming consistency? Great, then keep reading. Less Art is a group of musicians consisting of members of Thrice, Kowloon Walled City, and Curl Up And Die. They’ve got Mike Minnick on vocals, John Howell and Ed Breckinridge jamming away on guitar, Riley Breckenridge on the drums and Ian Miller slappin’ the bass.

Now, when I say “loud sounds” and “overwhelming consistency” I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way – I like metal, rock, loud music, really anything hard and rigid. Though, I also like my music to have some sort of color to it, and Less Art’s newest album Strangled Lights (Gilead Media) just doesn’t have that.

While listening to the album, I really wanted to enjoy it – I mean, look at who’s in it! How can one expect anything less than pure awesome coming from these musicians, and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it at all: ’Wandering Ghost’ and ’Pessimism as Denial’ are really fun, but I also can’t say that I wasn’t somewhat bored and over it pretty quickly.

The album had dynamics, though those dynamics seriously lacked variety – it was like the same couple of changes throughout each track, and they were such subtle changes that they were flooded out by the ruthless heaviness of the guitar, so it seemed as if the album lacked subtleties all together.

A good song is like a good piece of cake – you’ve got the texture of the smooth frosting which is then bombarded by a soft, bready base and often a silky filling to accompany it. A good song that lacks color and dynamics is like a cake without frosting or filling – it’s not terrible, but you probably aren’t going to want seconds. That’s unfortunately the impression I got from Less Art’s newest album. It’s not terrible, but I don’t think I’m going to want to give it another listening to.