Day Ravies - Liminal Zones (2015)

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Day Ravies - Liminal Zones (2015)
Artist: Day Ravies
Title Of Album: Liminal Zones
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Strange Pursuits
Genre: Indie Rock, Shoegaze, Dreampop
Quality: 320 / FLAC
Total Time: 32:59 min
Total Size: 101 / 252 MB


01 Fake Beach
02 Couple Days
03 This Side Of The Fence
04 Nettle
05 Immaculate Escape
06 Skewed
07 Enter The Bee
08 Nickford Whizz
09 Halfway Up A Hill
10 Steamed
11 Pulse Check
12 March Comes Around
13 Binkies

"Sydney’s Day Ravies are never boring. More than that, their music is absorbing. Even, at times, mind blowingly good. Lani Crooks, Caroline de Dear, Matt Neville and Sam Wilkinson each make major contributions to the band’s overall output. What the four-piece gives us in their sophomore full-length, Liminal Zones, is an eclectically mixed lolly bag, jam-packed with melodic flavour, sprinkled with shades of harsher noise and the odd psychedelic tendency, and completed with a generous serving of bright indie pop. In this release they consistently produce music that is fresh and invigorating. At times it is a sing-along vocal melody or an instrumental cleanser, and at others, a frolicking boogie-down hook. It’s the band’s ability to package their creative verve and instinctive feel for songwriting into a compact and interconnected set of songs that makes this release so engagingly enjoyable.

There are few bands that use synth the way that Day Ravies do; it’s that beautifully consuming reverberation of solid chords that fills in all of the spaces and enriches every adjacent tone and sound. When we listen to Liminal Zones it’s not difficult to hear the influence of Stereolab ­- the similar production value, instrumental dynamic and, of course, that intoxicating synth. And so opening track ‘Fake Beach’ really harks back to what Stereolab became renowned for: buzzing synth, breezy, enveloping vocals that sooth and stir, and an enigmatic krautrock presence. But there is also this genuine, visceral energy in Day Ravies’ music that emanates straight from the Australian suburban underground. Hence the noisy, caustic, yet certainly measured lead guitar that is both sweeping and vicious. It’s a seriously good tune and enough to have us buying what Day Ravies are selling from the get go.

Liminal Zones really does pop and bop its way around, taking on different glistening, colourful, and radiant forms throughout its 33-minute runtime. It’s stimulating to the extent that I wonder if the band is tapping into some unheard sonic frequencies. Did they just break the sound barrier? ‘This Side Of The Fence’ sounds intrinsically electronic, trance like with its warbling synth hook and the psychedelic, echoing fuzz of guitar that slides into place, only to quickly retreat. Like some form of hypnosis, Day Ravies sway us into a third dimension with looping layers and alien sounds. But later on the band gives us ‘Hickford Whizz’, a straighter irrepressible power pop tune that reflects on life’s decisions, maybe even missteps, all be it within the mundane (‘Sauce on your borrowed blazer. Crumbs growing out of your hair’). Liminal Zones is all the better for the fact that the interstellar musical exploration of the former is balanced with the catchy chord progression and pop action of the latter.

‘Steamed’ has a glossy, ‘80s ambiance fuelled by the use of drum pads and fizzing synth. ‘Halfway Up The Hill’, on the other hand, is an up-tempo salute to shoegaze that reminds me a lot of Asobi Seksu. In the chorus de Dear sings, ‘I’m starting to forget myself. I’m halfway up the hill again. I’m right back at the start again’. Telling, is her candid lyrical approach. Whether it is de Dear, Crooks (who predominantly occupies vocal duties) or Wilkinson, the vocals tend to occupy a fixed-point midway in the mix. It means that while we can often make out many of the lyrics, they just as much seep into the protruding synth and guitar. It’s a prominent feature that really pays off in line with the ‘wall of sound’ mantra that Day Ravies regularly lives by.

Day Ravies explore the dichotomy of stripped back, cleaner tones and looser fuzz-charged peaks (‘Pulse Check’), the haziness of distant instrumentation (‘March Comes Around’), and the lo-fi side of ‘Fi’ (‘Nettle’). When we listen to Liminal Zones we always feel like we know what Day Ravies are doing and where they are taking us, but in all honesty we don’t; when they push harder than expected on the accelerator, take a sudden detour or slow down all together, it’s emphatic and always rewarding. In Liminal Zones the band produces a blend of instinctive and cathartic, thoroughly enjoyable indie rock. It promises to be one of the year’s best local releases."

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Tags: Ravies, Liminal

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