The Life And Times
Day II/Day III EP
Like so many great bands, Shiner offered a mammoth, life-altering album (The Egg) before quietly slipping away into the dustbin of music history. Shiner boasted unique vision and exciting songs that walked a swaying tightrope between guitar-powered indie rock and strange boundless experimentalism. Vocalist/guitarist Allen Epley then formed power trio the Life And Times, who birthed two respectable albums (Suburban Hymns and Tragic Boogie) and assorted EPs. The Life And Times shed some of Shiner’s edgier moments and explored the nuances of ’90s volume-loving shoegaze bands like Catherine Wheel and Swervedriver.
The Life And Times continue to perfect the formula Epley invented with Shiner. They strive for entirely new artistic heights, especially on this new single. “Day II” seems a peculiar choice for the A-side; it seesaws between dreamy passages and charging beats. Epley warbles quietly over the attack, his vocals obscured and barely audible. “Day III” is just as confounding: it’s spaced-out with more vocal presence and acoustic guitars that just barely anchor the undulating keyboards and Hendrix-ian guitar swoons.
Taken together, both songs pull you in like a rip current. It takes repeated listens to appreciate the ingenuity of what the band attempt. While neither song is as immediately striking or edifying as those heard on their albums, this update presages wonderful new opportunities for the Life And Times to redefine not only their contribution to the musical discussion, but the direction of independent rock.
Hawthorne Street http://www.hawthornestreetrecords.com