Proving loud and beautiful can coexist, Missouriâ€™s Life & Times has been able to live up to the hype surrounding their 2003 EP. The trio, including former Shiner founder Allen Epley, manage to sound a lot bigger than just three guys. Tragic Boogie, the groupâ€™s latest full length, though not perfect, is still a solid step in the right direction. With its swirling guitars and light industrial feel (Think My Bloody Valentine with a lot more restraint), the record manages to flaunt influences as diverse as Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbox and the aforementioned My Bloody Valentine. You can even hear a band look the Foo Fighters in a track like â€œLet It Eatâ€ (a moodier Dave Grohl, but Foo Fighters nonetheless). The album drags a bit in the middle, but the varied influences are a blessing, saving the band from getting too bogged down in the same sound. Though not for everyone, with elements of ambient to math rock, â€œTragic Boogieâ€ is bound to find an audience.
Top Tracks: â€œLet It Eatâ€ and â€œFall of the Angryâ€
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Life & Times â€“ Tragic Boogie / CD / 2009 Arena Rock / 12 Tracks / http://www.goodfriendsrecords.com