Author: Andrew Klatzke
01/04/2009 | | | Album Review
I'm afraid that sometimes when I get swamped with reviews, some albums don't get the attention they may deserve. Ladyfinger (ne)'s new album, Dusk, was one of these albums. Every time I listened through the album I enjoyed it, it just seemed to get lost under the other albums that I was working with and I rarely found time to listen to it. However, over the past couple of weeks or so I've slowly discovered that it's one that deserves my full attention and I've switched over from listening to the other albums to almost nothing but Dusk, giving it the time it rightfully deserves.

Dusk is a work that's executed greatly in just about every regard. It's indie-rock, but it has so many different things going on at once that it's impossible to nail down their sound and throw it into any one genre. They've combined this current genre with a few doses of what seem like older styles, and it hits in just that way. Opening with "Over and Over," Ladyfinger quickly shows the listener what Dusk is all about. It's straightforward rock, with just enough heavier and moody influence to keep the track rolling right along. They've definitely pulled some Cursive influence into Dusk, and why shouldn't they? One of the places where this is apparent is in Chris Machmuller's vocals in quite a few of the tracks. As well, many of the songs have that kind of moody sound that Cursive has come to be known for. Moving on, what is quite possibly my favorite track, "A.D.D." has an unstable sound that seems as if it's going to just either fall away or explode at any moment.

"Two Years" is the next big track, and what really highlights this one is Jamie Massey and Machmuller's guitar work throughout. The impressive solo about halfway through the track really ties the whole song together and keeps it from falling apart. "Read the Will" starts off as one of the slower tracks, and the atmospheric guitar work really helps to set the overall mood for this track. The lyrics really shine here, and we hear Machmuller delivering the lines: "Was the hard work worth it in the end? The good fight nearly cost you everything. But you did what you had to do, and I respect you so much." This track eventually escalates and the emotion welled up in the instruments before they fall away is breathtaking. "Work Party" is another of the more riled-up tracks, and the charging guitars pull the song along with a powerfull riff.

"Plans" opens with Machmuller speak-singing across lively drum and guitar lines before it falls into a melodic crescendo befitting of some of indie-rocks greatest. This track takes quite few turns and goes through everything from Machmuller softly speaking over melodic instrumentation to him yelling "and you just dissappeared!" over a quick guitar line. "Let's Get Married" is another great track. It's one of the livelier, while not the liveliest, and it's one of those that reeks with the kind of Cursive-esque sound that I think we all kind-of love (I know I do). What really shines in this track is the chorus where Machmuller's delivery shines as he skips quickly through his words. "Born In the 80's" is another one of the unstable tracks among the lines of "A.D.D." and it's got a serious kick. Dispatching a bit from the rest of the album, this track would be befitting of post-punk bands just about everywhere. Machmuller throws in quite a few of his emotion-laden yells, and the lively drum line and guitar work make the track sound like it's about to explode at any moment.

Not giving Dusk the time it deserved early on may not have been my best choice, but now that I have, it's definitely been worth the time. While I can't excuse myself for it, maybe this is just an album that needed a little bit of time to grow on me, and because of it impacted me even more. Ladyfinger (ne) has released a very solid album, and fans of bands like Dear and the Headlights, Cursive, and in some places, even Death Cab for Cutie should appreciate this album. With Dusk, Ladyfinger (ne) has put together a work that showcases everything I love about indie-rock, thrown in a dose of classic swagger, and brought in just enough of their own flair to keep me entertained. We may just now be creeping into 2009, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is an album that could stick through the year, and had it been released in 2008, it's caliber would easily have easily landed it a spot on my "best-of" lists. I can't say what's to come in 2009, but as of now, this is a great start (musically, of course) to a new year.
Rating: 9
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Posted by Andrew Klatzke 1/4/2009


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