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Prosolar Mechanics / Landspeedrecord

ABC014 - LANDSPEEDRECORD! / PROSOLAR MECHANICS "Urban Development Series Volume 4" Split CD - $10 PPD

PMX layer melody after melody over hypnotic rhythms. LSR! goes straight to the core. This band is about pushing the envelope.

1) Visiting Hours (LSR) MP3
2) Method Acting (LSR)  
3) Best Revenge (LSR)  
4) Secret To Win (LSR) MP3
5) Neophobes (LSR)  
6) The Future Of Sex (PMX)  
7) Red Down The Middle (PMX) MP3
8) Sender (PMX)  
9) 415 (PMX) MP3

Urban Development Series Vol. 4


Landspeedrecord! offers a musical journey from jagged indie rock to emo to art-pop, always smart and emotional. The lyrics offer compact stories of splendor and suffering. Sonorous vocals, the use of synthesizers, and the music's overall dremaily ambient beauty temper their somewhat tense and jarring sound. Lead singer Charley Jamison's voice proves that both anger can be graceful and that beauty can be vehement.

Prosolar Mechaincs music is beautifully complemented by lead singer Amy Jacob's sultry and soft voice. This is a band that exists within the new wave and noise rock worlds while simultaneously moving beyond them, creating a smooth and radiant musical domain in which harmony and power share ruling duties.

This CD is a strong release, and both bands will surely have much to show in the future.
- Miranda Hale, Kitty Magik

I think the music world can use more split albums. There's plenty of split EPs and singles, but I love the albums better. They have more depth; they let both artists really show what they're about. ambiguous City! Records, based in Baltimore, has a series of split releases called the "Urban Development Series." While I haven't heard the other releases, Vol. 4 is a dandy, showcasing two unique, hard-to-pin-down bands. Up first is Baltimore's Landspeedrecord!, a trio playing smart, funny, clever, melodic punk rock, with occasional electronic touches and varied vocal styles (chanting, whispering, speaking, singing) from vocalist/guitarist/synthesizer player Charles Jamison. With a slightly cynical perspective, they sharply cut through societal hypocrisy, creating a slightly cynical portrait of life in the 21st century. Their outlook is at times paranoid, at times almost apocalyptic, but also emotional, with a certain sense of altruism and hopefulness. If that all sounds like a contradiction, it isn't really, just an indication of the lyrical depth behind their music. There's 5 tracks from Landspeedrecord!, beginning with the melancholy "Visiting Hours" and proceeding through to the trumpet-inflected "Neophobes." That last track is a big f-you to people who are afraid of something new; those people can stay away from Landspeedrecord! and their musical compadres, the New Jersey-based Prosolar Mechanics. That group, also a trio, combines a Sonic Youth-ish, two-guitar-attack style with slightly abstract lyrics and vocals (from guitarist/vocalist Amy Jacob) that are sultry, laidback and a tad artsy. Their sound sort of resembles early 90s alternative rock, but is much more warped. Almost captivating and often surprising, on these 4 tracks, Prosolar Mechanics are at their best when they explode into free rock (like at the end of "The Future of Sex") or conjure up sparse, spooky atmospheres, as on the final track "415." As far as I can tell, the Urban Development Series is about groups who are building their own musical universes, marking a mark in their hometowns. These groups definitely fit in; they have their own voices, and use them to grab hold of your attention.
- dave heaton,

Split CD by Baltimore's prickly Landspeedrecord! and New Brunswick/ Highland Park's Prosolar Mechanics opens with a scary visit to a friend "resting comfortably" in an asylum. Landspeedrecord! tells quick, complex stories over jangly guitars and dreamy mechanical noise; boiling emotion in an industrial world. Prosolar Mechanics's raging guitars, thunderous drums and Amy's soft voice suggest evil moving through shadows, everyday violence one should've seen coming. Gorgeous, unnerving nightmares and difficult truth throughout.

Baltimore's LandSpeedrecord are an eclectic mix of strong rhythm guitar and harmonious vocals accented by synthesizers, creating a sound that is both conventional and slightly quirky. The five songs here hum along at a crisp pace, and lyrically, the tracks are a pleasure, particularly "Best Revenge" and "Secret to Win," both of which show off the skills of vocalist Charley Jamison. The band sounds equally cohesive on "Visiting Hours," a typically uptempo anthem that kicks off this split release. The band shows a more experimental side with "Neophobes," a noisy, more off-kilter track that solidifies the split personality of the act. Prosolar Mechanics features the beautiful female vocals of Amy Jacob, as she is out in front of a band that plays a sturdy, rollicking brand of noisy guitar rock.  "The Future of Sex" was the most powerful of the songs here, as her soothing vocals melt within a swirling ball of guitar and drumming. Conversely, "Red Down the Middle" is a sultry effort that is built around Jacob’s warm tone and a subdued melodic hum, which morphs into a bass-heavy mid-tempo track that has a feel that matches the earthy lyrics. The speedy "Sender" was born to rule the airwaves of college stations everywhere, and has enough accessibility to allure some bold programmer into giving it a spin. There is something so easily likable about this band. Prosolar Mechanics are the complete package and deserve huge exposure.
- Rich Quinlan, Jersey Beat

This is Vol 4. in a series of splits from AmBiguousCity records Urban Development Series and it's a winner. Landspeed opens up the show with good ole SST, husker du inspired, style rock. Plenty of politcal savy, envy and guitar riff intent to keep music snobs on their toes or be gone with their ability to note a toe tapper when the songs says Go. Denser and darker comes the space music of Prosolar. If you are looking for that next female vocal to win you over Amy has got the most powerful and enchanting voice to take you where few space music travellers have been. All tracks stand out. Just order your copy today and you will thank us.
- Slash and

Landspeedrecord! play charged up rock with cracking vocals and a whole lot of charm. They remind me of a mix of Metroschifter and At the Drive In, while remaining completely unique. Prosolar Mechanics are a tight rock machine. Very fitting female vocals. The conservative use of distorted bass is heavenly. Both of these bands are awesome, which makes for a pretty great release.
- Geek America

With their five new tracks, the always prolific and constantly mutating Landspeedrecord! seems to have settled on a homogenous sound. Over its five-year history, LSR!'s sound has evolved from sloppy, sarcastic rock to angular, DC-inspired post-punk. Urban Development Series Vol.4 reveals yet another genre change for LSR!; this time, the band has settled on quirky, keyboard-inspired rockers that bring to mind early XTC, The Talking Heads and Wire. On "Neophobes", Charley Jamison belts out a variety of vocal styles, ranging from intriguing falsetto melodies to monotone storytelling (think Tubeway Army), revealing an artist who has found a comfortable musical niche. "Best Revenge" retains a touch of Hüsker Dü punkdom, but avoids any specific genre classification with the inclusion of Nord modular synths. There's something for everyone on each of these tracks; the band continues to defy classification, yet waves its punk rock flag with freakish delight.

Prosolar Mechanics upholds its part of the split CD bargain with four stellar noise rock tunes that bring to mind a heavy Love and Rockets joining evil forces with The Breeders at their most foul-tempered. Vocalist Amy Jacob has a way with words; her seductively coy vocal melodies mesh well with the grinding guitar lines that drive each tune. "Red Down the Middle" thrives on an undercurrent of tension that never dissipates, leaving you edgy and uncomfortably intrigued. The strongest PMX track is "The Future of Sex", with its ringing harmonic opening and unbelievable drumming -- so tight you'd think it was a drum machine. Rhythm junkies will drool in delight at the perfect beats and dense layers of intense guitar that construct this powerful number. Who is this New Brunswick, NJ band? You'd sure as hell better find out soon, as they'll be taking over the entire New York/New Jersey music scene soon enough.

While none of the names here may sound familiar, you shouldn't even think about passing up this CD. It's hard enough to find nine consistent tracks by one band, but when two entirely different bands can jive together in recorded harmony as well as these two do, you get the best of both worlds. Both bands hint at '80s references, but this split disc is anything but another retro-bore; its strange fusion of punk, sarcastic wit and space rock creates a genre unto itself.
-, Andrew Magilow