There is no doubting the fact that Lansing-Dreiden begin their “The Dividing Island” off slowly. The very atmospheric opening tract finally gives way to a little pomp after a few minutes. There is a gambit made during this track as the song flops over the five and a half minute mark. The dreamy vocals that finally make their appearance halfway through the track further complete a Lansing-Dreiden specific sound, which puts the band closer to a techno/ambient feel than anything else. The band does not keep the same sound for the entirety of the disc or even for the entirety of the track.
The second movement to “Dividing Island” is something that is much more in line with glam rock than the ambient music that was present during the first half of the track. The style of music that seems to be a much more common outcome of the creative process for Lansing-Dreiden has to be this dreamy brand of pop. There are hints of bands like The Postal Service and even New Order present in “The Dividing Island”, and during tracks like “Part of the Promise”, an earlier dance style that is not quite unlike bands like Joy Division and Duran Duran dominates. The fact that Lansing-Dreiden does not have to stick in one specific style for the entirety of this album shows that the band can expand a pretty stable brand of music into something much much more than its constituent parts.
Considering the fact that only a few minutes after “Part of the Promise”, Lansing-Dreiden is crafting something that sounds like The Who at the peak of their game (the guitar-heavy opening to “Our Next Breath”), to say that individuals will not be able to find something they like about the band is to sell Lansing-Dreiden short. The style may be predicated on this dreamy sound, but the fact is that the band bounces around a number of the styles in the pursuance of their goal. Kemado has moved away from the hard rock sound that was present on their earlier albums, but does not completely abandon the rock mantra completely. Lansing-Dreiden is a band that expands what rock is all about, while still having something concrete and grounded in rock that listeners can grab onto. The disc may only be thirty-five minutes, but there is so much present on “The Dividing Island” that individuals will be able to dissect; the replay value is high with this one.
Top Tracks: Dividing Island, Two Extremes
Lansing-Dreiden – The Dividing Island / 2006 Kemado / 10 Tracks / http://www.lansing-dreiden.com / http://www.kemodo.com / Reviewed 27 May 2006