5 ON THE FLY Five mini reviews all in one place.

The Sylvia Platters – Melt

The Sylvia Platters’ job, it would seem, is to entice and lure us into an electric-buzz dreamland. Whether it’s the bright-eyed ’80s americana fantasy of “Faith Healer”, the electrification of teenage heartbreak songs in “Tangerine”, or the droning shoegaze haze of “Eclipse”, these lads from Abbotsford, BC get the job done right, while making it seem effortless.
Love the clever band name, by the way.

Prime cut: “Eclipse”

Best Fern – Covers

The duo of Alexia Avina and Nick Schofield have created their own wonderful combination of gorgeous dreampop vocals and electronic adventure, and they have now applied this blueprint to a clever selection of covers. Consistently great throughout, the foray yields some interesting results, such as the softening of Four Tet’s “Morning Side” creating something quite mystical, and the introduction of odd, chanted backing vocals to Jessy Lanza’s “It Means I Love You” lending it a more artsy air.

Prime cut: “Morning Side”

Luge – Actual Rock ‘n’ Roll

The one thing that strikes you fairly quickly upon hearing Luge’s new record is that it’s not actual rock ’n’ roll. Not that you’d want that, because this is better. This is noisy, bent-up, mathy, art punk. Sometimes their experimentation takes on a gritty, industrial edge (“Not My Bento”), while other times it’s almost pop music, as on “Platinum Girl”, although in that case it’s pretty punky and twisted.
Luge are so daring that they teeter right on that edge of being unlistenable. It’s a testament to their craftsmanship that they maintain their balance and never tip over.

Prime cut: “Platinum Baby”

Gesture – No Past, It Started All Over Again

Gesture (Andy Resto, Nellie Stark, Eleanor Wearing) are a stripped-down unit but one quite capable of creating dark sonic spaces. Resto’s vocals wander throughout, dominating the space with their sheer strangeness and their quavering intensity that can express fear, confusion, anger, or several conflicting emotions at once. Not to forget the vocal backing of drummer Wearing, most effectively used as an eerie backdrop to “Stature Imprint”.

Prime cut: “Stature Imprint”

Sanity Band – Deluxe 85

‘Deluxe 85’ is the work of singer-songwriter Logan Holmes, but in the persona of Sanity Band his music is quirky fare indeed. The vocals have an elusive weirdness buried in the gruffness of the low notes. If that brings to mind Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields then the comparison continues with Holmes’ use of extreme fuzz and distortion on his guitars and wonky-sounding effects. The music is amiable in its idiosyncratic melding of pop, country, folk, garage, etc, making it feel familiar, even though it’s really as whacked-out as the likes of Beck or Tom Waits.

Prime cut: “new morning”