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Life And Times | Flat End of the Earth | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

The Life And Times

The Flat End of the Earth (54 & 40' or Fight!)
by Tim Den

There was just no chance of The Life And Times being bad, was there? After all, did you really expect a band made up of Allen Epley (ex-Shiner guitarist/vocalist/ main songwriter) and John Meredith (Someday I guitarist/vocalist, who plays bass here) to be anything less than stellar? I think not.

Even at a mere six songs, The Flat End of the Earth proves that The Life And Times are not Shiner Part Two. Instead of tying Epley's melodies around polyrhythms and bursting spasms, this new band winds tight grooves over steady, "easier to digest" time signatures. Which forms a more stable foundation for Epley's newfound "coasting" vocal style: Raspily crooning - calm and collected - what at first seem to be average melodies eventually show themselves to be extraordinary. I've caught myself singing "Raisin in the Sun," "Houdini" (Meredith's nickname, incidentally), "Servo," and the title track I don't know how many times, only to be surprised by how unmemorable I had thought them to be at first few listens. But like tapeworms, they somehow find their way into your being and refuse to leave. Like the vocals, the calculatedly simple (compared to Shiner) arrangements of the music also reveal themselves with repeated listens to be much deeper than their first impression. Especially drummer Mike Myers, whose meaty staccato accents everything with taste and power. Seems like a lot of trouble was gone through to disguise all these nuances!

The Flat End of the Earth is a mesmerizing, hypnotizing, tip-of-the-iceberg. Knowing the capabilities of these three gentlemen - and the fact that this EP was recorded only months after the band formed - there's no doubt that only greatness will be in the life and times of The Life And Times.
(PO Box 1601 Acme, MI 49610)


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