Languis: Other Desert Cities
Pehr Label

That sitars inaugurate Languis's Other Desert Cities is telling. Though bands like Sigur Rós, Primal Scream, and New Order are listed as reasonably legitimate reference points, the group's sound looks back further, a contention rendered even more inarguable by the breezy Byrds-styled harmonies that float through the raucous opener “In the Fields of (Lonely Fences)” as well as the EP's other material. The swooning “Falling From So High” finds the quartet (Argentina compadres Marcos Chloca and Alejandro Cohen, ex-Tristeza member Stephen Swesey, and John Girgus) descending gently rather than plummeting violently, the largely acoustic ballad a gorgeous oasis of placid calm and celestial harmonies. A ‘60s psychedelic vibe infuses “Times Are Changing” too, though it's as much indebted to bands like Ride and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Strong pop hooks and a skyward mellotron dominate the blissed-out guitar anthem “I Forgot I Forgot” while the lustrous ballad “City of Lights ” showcases the group's melancholy side. Aside from its strong pop melodies, what distinguishes Other Desert Cities most is its polish with all five songs not only wonderfully-crafted but offering equally compelling snapshots of the group's range.

May 2006