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For Serious This Time

When You're In It EP

[Life On an Island; 2009]

By ; September 20, 2010 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

Northport, NY hasn’t necessarily been the beacon of indie rock this year or any, but therein lies the charm of post-punk quintet For Serious This Time; Life on an Island, the band’s label, are one of those collectives that house local bands that are cut from a similar sonic cloth – cloth perhaps taken from an old mattress that now sound-proofs the basements that their bands circuit. This EP wafts of that sort of carefree, barebones brand of rock that characterizes their label and many other local delights like them, but what makes FSTT different is the manner in which they intimately construct and deliver these six compact tracks simply and effectively.

The opening cut, “Santa Marina,” is a solid pick for an introduction; the drums quickly tumble in and spill between the cracked vocals that bleed with frustration – the song sandwiches a mid-tempo dance between two middling guitars before it lets go towards a trampling finish. This middle section showcases what characterizes just about every song here; these lightweight, sugary licks tangle wonderfully with the squeezed vocals to create a small motif that remains consistent throughout. “Livingston” hops along joyfully and follows suit, while “Bobsun” totters along its bass line after an exciting start, and while the tempo may change between these two songs, for example, diversity never really rings true at any point on this disc. What you see from track numero uno is what you get for the duration, albeit that duration is only around twenty minutes long.

“Fog Bank” takes the cake here; it begins with a lumbering, sway-inducing conversation between all three guitars, and as the snare wakes up the tempo a bit, the vocals, seemingly backed by the band and friends, slip in and out well-noticed. The cluttered bridge that separates it still comes off as tightly played – it’s a situation where each member’s loose play comes together to create a sort of in-between, glitchy sound that meshes surprisingly well. “Karen Room” has an energizing chorus that is the closest the band gets to something that, in passing, resembles an anthem; “You always say that you are such a mess/ Well that’s what everyone always says.” It ends with a force appropriate for a disc that, at times, felt as though it was begging to be let loose, but the overall pacing never suffers as a result.

For Serious This Time has managed to put together a seriously satisfying storm cloud of an EP. Their brand of post-punk isn’t altogether heavy and flashing in your face, but instead it sort of blows along naturally with the help of some delicately touched guitar melodies that stick and essentially hold these songs together – it’s a grooving, intimate offering that takes many familiar elements of a popular genre and spins it, to a certain extent, anew.


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