Brim Liski: Brim Liski
Latenight Weeknight Records

Brim Liski's self-titled EP sounds more than a little assured for a debut but so it should, given the personnel involved: Ryan Policky (A Shoreline Dream), Jasper Boer, and Cacheflowe (Colorado-based Justin Gitlin, who has issued boom-bap/glitch-hop under the Cacheflowe alias). In simplest terms, the group's sound invites the shoegaze label; however, a couple of things distance Brim Liski from the genre proper, specifically clarity in vocal (where they appear, lyrics are commonly decipherable) and instrumental respects (the group opts for clear separation in its sonic design as opposed to presenting its songs as homogenous masses); some songs also tip slightly more in the direction of electro-pop than shoegaze (the electro-synth radiance of “Moving Winter” an example) but the difference in this case is admittedly slim.

The lead song “Fight” confidently floats in on a warm and enveloping synthetic breeze of soaring synthesizers and breathy vocals. While such elements are emblematic of classic shoegaze, Brim Liski also anchors the tune with a chunky rhythm track that gives the song a tad more soul than is the shoegaze norm. In “All the Things,” hushed vocals swirl alongside a robust drum pattern before a mid-song breakdown splotlights first vocals (“All the things I do, I do, I do / All the things I know, I know I know”) and then drums that trigger the full onslaught a second time. The instrumental “Longing” could easily be mistaken for a track by Ulrich Schnauss, so potent is the setting's panoramic and rapturous qualities, and the tune is neatly distinguished by a hiccup worked into the song's backbeat chug. Cacheflowe's aggressive beat attack also gives “An Endless Drive” a powerful thrust, while “Driving” strips everything away except for an effects-laden electric guitar. Extending the EP's length are two “Fight” remixes, the one by Jap Jap not radically dissimilar from the original (if slowed down and chilled slightly), and the other, a glitchy treatment by that's funkier in a way that suggests Telefon Tel Aviv trying shoegaze on for size.

March 2010