Landing: Wave Lair
These Are Not Records

Currently boasting Aaron and Adrienne Snow and Daron Gardner as members, Landing has been operating since 1998 out of its New Haven, Connecticut home base. In the years since, recordings have appeared on a number of labels, including Geographic North, Strange Attractors Audio House, Ba Da Bing!, Equation Records, and now These Are Not Records, which is bringing the group's impressive mini-album The Wave Lair to the hungry masses (300 vinyl copies, 100 pink and 200 black). One of the nicest things about the thirty-four-minute release is its sequencing, with three compact songs on side one countered by the side-long title opus on the flip.

A strong undercurrent of ‘90s shoegaze and New Wave runs through the material, especially now that drummer Daron Gardner plays bass only and drum machines are used for the songs' beats. The band's dreampop side gets a thorough workout in “Patterns,” whose guitar- and bass-prodded pulsations and vaporous synth washes call the glory days of The Cocteau Twins, New Order, and Lush, among others, to mind. Adrienne's suitably ethereal voice grows even hazier during “Resonance” and “Cover Bare Arm,” both of which plunge into deeper atmospheric pools than the opener. In keeping with the shoegaze tradition, the music swoons as synth washes crest and fragile vocals exhale. It's the title track that makes the strongest impression, however, especially when it plays as a sunblinded, krautrock-styled drone for the opening nine of its nineteen minutes before Adrienne's voice enters to briefly nudge the synth-emblazoned material into a quietly ecstatic zone before reverting once again to quieter instrumental form. Such material indicates that though the band's existed for fourteen years (and counting), Landing appears to be in a particularly strong place creatively at the moment.

December 2012