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lazy lane
as reviewed by Valery Gore

With the creeping opening words and trance-like waltz of ‘The Girl Upstairs”, Lazy Lane shyly but candidly invites you into the creeking floorboards, rustling front yard oak trees, thunder and lightning evening surrounding this attic-like collection of songs. On the band’s debut full length album “The Chills”, it’s as though the secret to every uncanny mystery you have pondered in your waking nightmares is about to be told through a dark-haired, dark-eyed young woman who carries the wisdom of an old soul.

Settled in Pittsburgh, PA, this murky ensemble creates a desperation and longing sound that is reminiscent of Mazzy Star. There’s something to be said about the value of simplicity if it is presented in a dramatic way. For Lazy Lane the simplicity lies in the songs’ lyrical dynamics, rhyming patterns and thematics. The very relevant is coated in the sultry and calming vocals and the complexity of the band’s overall musicianship.

Once invited into this stratum of spooks, the track “Sleepyville Creepshow” takes you back to your high school dance, only now everyone’s been in that “Car Accident Where The Road Bends” and have returned as zombies, shifting from one foot to the other. With methodic interludes and eerie Halloween synthesizer muses, this track definitely meets the expectations that track one sets.

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“Eraser” is a catchy track with a sing-a-long hook and a memorable chorus. The vocal layers on the entire album are incredible, as though you are coming back from the world of amnesia. Such a traumatic experience would beg the Doors influenced track “Waking Up Buttercup” as theme music. The hospital room comes to light with Lily Lane, chirping birds, and a warm toned guitar, encouraging you to “Wake up”. The clever assembling of the album leads you into the next track, lyrics venturing, “I open my eyes to the sky”.

Creating a sound familiar yet original, Greg Ballato (guitars, turntables), Aaron Richardson (bass), Nathan Ballato (drums) and Lily Lane (also on synthesizers) branch out to many demographics. It is obvious that the same broadness goes for their influences.

In my favour, the second highlight of the album is the end track “Malaysian Dream Doll”. The playful melodies and dreamy landscape would be the sound escaping the teary-eyed funeral of Mazzy Star’s death. It is much like Hope Sandoval’s “Suzanne” off Bavarian Fruit Bread, but I don’t mind this time. It’s simply the ears receiving more of a very good thing.

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