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Landhaus: Darker City Lights

Landhaus are a three piece band from Italy consisting of Matteo Lanḍ (vocals, guitars), Stefano Spina (bass) and Niky Collu (drums). The album was written and produced by Lando and Spina provided the arrangements. Darker City Lights is their debut album.

The band's palette consists of guitar rhythms, both acoustic and electric, with the acoustic accompanying the slower tempos and electric used when the band turns it up a bit. Consequently, the songs are mostly in the slow to mid tempo range with lots of mellow moments, although heavier rhythms do come into play, which add a little more intensity to some of these songs. Guitars dominate the sound and are used to provide texture and atmosphere, you will not find blistering solos here. Although not listed in the album credits, keyboards and synths are also used giving some of these tunes an orchestral element and some additional atmosphere. The voice of Matteo is quite pleasant to listen to.Although at first I could not think of any comparisons, he does sound a little like Michael Stipe of REM. I found his slight accent quite endearing and at times sounding almost British, at least to my ears. If I was to categorize the music on Darker City Lights, I would say they have an alternative poppy sound sometimes venturing into edgier pop and rock.

The album begins with "Number One", a slow to mid-tempo catchy number reminding me of Murmur era REM, featuring acoustic strumming and subdued electric chords. "All Waving" features gentle piano and soft guitar rhythms before settling into a mid-tempo groove, again having an REM sound. Although the arrangements throughout the disc are fairly predictable, I like how the songs go from acoustic guitar to meatier electric rhythms. "Let Me Know" has a laid back gentle quality and a nice acoustic melody with keyboards adding a little more atmosphere to the arrangement. The last two songs are the longest on the album with both exceeding six minutes. "What's Wrong" has a dreamy vibe with a nice piano melody and gentle acoustic guitar before venturing into edgier electric rhythms. The album ends with the heartfelt "Why Should I Care?", starting as a gentle ballad before entering more rockier territory.

Although many of these songs sound similar and give off a familiar vibe, I enjoyed listening to Darker City Lights. If you are a fan of 80s REM and related bands, you will find plenty to like here. This is a solid debut from a promising new band.

Track Listing:
1. Number One
2. All Waving
3. Let me Know
4. Inside Out
5. Sunday Morning
6. Sliding Well
7. Maybe
8. We Wanted
9. What's Wrong
10. Why Should I Care?

Added: February 13th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: N/A
Hits: 1862
Language: english

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