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Review Round-Up: Lifehouse, Lento, Peaking Lights

By: Andrew McNallyColumnist

Lifehouse – “Almeria” Remember “Hanging By a Moment?” Lifehouse members continue their trend of describing their career in song titles on their sixth album, with tracks like “Aftermath” and “Nobody Listen.” The band is branching out past their pop-indie past, occasionally incorporating more country and folksy elements. Yet there is still a total lack of substance to the music. “Almeria” brings in Natasha Bedingfield and Peter Frampton for uninspiring duets and ends on a wholly lackluster duo of ballads. Some tracks are decent and are even potential radio hits, but overall, “Almeria” is nothing we haven’t heard too much of already. Grade: C- If You Like: The Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty Key Track: “Moveonday”

Lento – “Anxiety Despair Languish” Lento, probably Italy’s only sludge metal band and certainly their only instrumental one, sounds like a mix of Pantera and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Their new album “Anxiety Despair Languish” digs through heavy but melodic riffs. The album is not particularly lengthy, but there are not any dull moments. The songs continually build upon themselves, all telling stories of different natures. The frequent shifts in tempo and tone are intentionally jarring but rarely uncomfortable. Making melodic metal sound unique is tough enough, but Lento does it without words. Tell your younger brother who’s just learning guitar about them. Grade: B+ If You Like: Dream Theater, Godspeed You! Black Emperor Key Track: “Death Must Be the Place”

Peaking Lights – “Lucifer” Peaking Lights are not a particularly interesting band, and nearly every one of the eight tracks on “Lucifer” runs far too long. But they still sound unique. Their music is typical house fare, but recorded on more conventional and cheaper instruments to give themselves a lo-fi sound. It’s the musical equivalent of a boy trying on his dad’s clothes. This makes the beats tolerable on a purely listening level. And the vocals are rare and light enough that they frequently come as a pleasant surprise. There’s nothing extraordinary going on, but it’s lo-fi chill music if you want some. Grade: B- If You Like: Animal Collective, The Naked and Famous Key Track: “Beautiful Son”

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