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July 2015
The Great Void
"Shift Age

If you're one of the few not plagued by thoughts of mortality and burdened by self-reflection, consider yourself lucky. If you're a brooder, however, then Shift Age, by NYC dark electro-rock project The Great Void, might be the record for you. It bears all the outwards signs of happy pop music, though the longer you listen, the more surreal it gets. Especially vivid is “Medicine Ball,” whose plunky synths and new-wave vocals divert bleakly-rendered lines like, “I know we'd have fun/But you're much too young.” By “Shift Age (Part 2),” it's clear the gloss is just a cover for deconstructing nostalgia itself. “Out with the days of the old ways” sings leader Josh Ascalon before a barrage of high-pitched squeals surge towards an apocalyptic finale. Or maybe that's just the hardware inside his keyboard threatening to fry out? - Brian Chidester

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"For Serious This Time" is a Long Island band

"For Serious This Time" is a Long Island band

Admittedly, these four Long Island lads got a little more mature in their approach over the years. They gained confidence, their sound became clearer, more complex, stepping away from the jam-like confusion of their first two records, but still...there's a certain irony to the name For Serious This Time. Sure, the structures are more elaborate, but serious? They don't really do serious. No more random 'stop&starts' though: now the drums are beating continuously, instead throwing in casual breakdowns, syncopation and rhythmic shifts; the guitar is drifting around carelessly, tickling the tracks with a free-flowing melody, only sketching hints of a hook here and there; at times two voices clash, interrupt one another. That's 'Weird Life' for you, their latest EP to date (released in 2011), a skippy indie-rock six-track record, less erratic than the last, with still something of a punk attitude. Only just getting off the roads, the band ended their summer tour at a fun friendly BYOB bash in East Northport last night- now that's over, time for some new sounds. For serious this time, yeah? - Tracy Mamoun


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