Sometime around fall 2004, I laid prostrate in the back seat of an automobile. The exact hour escapes me, but it was well after the bars had closed and well into the middle of the night leaning into the early morning. My friends played music in the car as we rode to the late-night eatery, which definitely was not White Castle. The music they played this time was completely foreign to my ears, which was good because I am always open to new things even when I am curled up in a fetal position in the backseat of an automobile. Being the kind of guy who lusts over new and unheard music I listened to these “jams” with much scrutiny (as much as I could at the time). The first band they played was The Go! Team. All in all not bad. The song, “Huddle Formation,” had enough driving-force to get me through an arduous task; definitely very deserving of the exclamation mark(!) in their name.
This post has nothing to do with the Go! Team. Thankfully so, because after the smoke had cleared, the next band effectively caught my attention. So much that I sat up straight immediately, my eyes open wide staring at the LCD screen of the car’s cd player. I then leaned over to my friend in the passenger seat and inquired about this mystery band’s identity. He replied, “Lansing-Dreiden.” He then proceeded to give me a brief description of the band. He noted that they chose not reveal themselves let alone play live shows. He then went on to describe them as an art collective. We listened to several songs by them. The song that abducted my attention was “I.C.U.” This song was an instant gem, because it more than excelled at being the most over-the-top synth pop extravaganza. It was comparable to the synth pop greats channeling the wavey bass-lines of New Order and the dark dance-scapes of Depeche Mode with synth textures and melodic layering synonymous to Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark.
Lansing-Dreiden “I.C.U.” from the album The Incomplete Triangle
The rest of the album reveals yet another distinctive characteristic of this group. This characteristic being diversity. They have the ability to meander through genres almost effortlessly, and they still retain a sense of identity. The consistency within these genres shifts can be attributed to the production techniques used by Lansing-Dreiden. Being a self-produced group, Lansing-Dreiden is free to finely craft a specific production style that is one of a kind, although it alludes to productions techniques from various decades. The end result is a meticulously crafted psychedelic post-punk sound that is unlike anything else. Exemplified in the track “Missing Message” this lush textural sound more than sufficiently creates a murky-gothic-mood synonymous to early the goth-like desolation found in many early 80’s post-punk outfits. It is a successful allusion to Bauhaus without actually sounding like them. Also, the drugged-out treatment on the drums refers to dub music without actually sounding like some trojan knock off ( not even remotely). Interestingly enough, Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” uses the same dub conventions to convey a ghost-like “otherworld” soundscape.
Lansing-Dreiden “Missing Message” from the album The Incomplete Triangle
The Rest of the album travels through genres from punk, metal, to synth pop. It is safe to assume that Incomplete Triangle refers to the three distinct style shifts in the album. The first being rock into spacey shoegaze, then finally into danced-out-hand-clap infested, synth bass heavy club tracks. Their subsequent releases mautre and develop these ecletic leanings, but as the title of this post suggests, there are two more parts to come…
meanwhile feast your eyes on this video for “Glass Corridor” off of Incomplete Triangle