Lorelei – Enterprising Sidewalks – Album Review

Like, for example, Pavement, Lorelei is also re-emerging from their 90s hibernation (along with drug rugs, cassette tapes and florescent baseball caps). They’ve released a new LP, Enterprising Sidewalks, which dropped August 14.

“Hammer Meets Tongs” is Big Brother’s voice sneaking out of a speaker, with a vocal line reminiscent of Kraftwerk, instructing us that “all we need is a better management plan of an enterprising sidewalk,” and has this beautiful melodic ribbon of guitar running through it.

The weird flat vocal line in “Wound Up” suggests a slightly more ballsy version of ol’ Belle and Sebastian (anyone remember that little band?). I am noticing this trend in male vocalists; while females are all trying to do a lamer version of Kate Bush, males are all doing this high, flat vocal line that warbles on, muffled in low-fi reverb like a feminine David Byrne. Whatever. Just an observation.

The album itself has some really great effects, especially in “Let Go of Our Ego”, which has the guitar making these drawn-out, strangled noises.

Lorelei definitely has a knack for these sweet-spot guitar riffs that are as pleasurable as they are simple, and yet the whole album has this grittiness to it, like the whole thing could collapse, raw and static-y, at any point. Maybe it’s because the band members (Matt Dingee on guitar, Stephen Gardner on bass, and Davis White on drums) have seen some shit since 1994’s Everyone Must Touch the Stove.

Enterprising Sidewalks is actually pretty enterprising itself in that this is a solid album to put on and actually pay attention to, if you are one of those rare individuals who appreciates musicianship, creativity and stimulating instrumental trip-outs. (Dig “Three Interlocking Screens” for an example of such a long stretch of crazy ear-interest.)

According to their label, Slumberland (also housing Dum Dum Girls, Stereolab and a fistful of other bands with extremely bizarre yet intriguing names), Lorelei will be doing a slew of West Coast tours to support the long-in-coming album, which is worth noting since the band have never actually played the West Coast. They’re from Washington, DC.

While not necessarily having my face melted or my pineal gland blasted into wide-open musical madness, this reviewer thoroughly enjoyed the crunchy grooves, rough jam-outs and tight percussion of Lorelei’s Enterprising Sidewalks. The album sounds like something that would just fucking rock on a stage.