Few bands move forward without making subtle changes. Typically they may be changes in appearance or personnel, but with Texas’ El Lago the four piece has steered away from dream pop into darker waters. On their new Pyramid EP they tread closer towards a future of post-punk touched with nuance from the shoegaze world. The end result is a searing and hefty reminder that great bands evolve.
Opening with the tenuous nature of the dark themed “Citadel,” it’s immediately noticeable that the band has changed direction in terms of sound. Embedded with bombastic drums and squealing feedback, the track gets peppered with Lauren Eddy’s haunting voice. It’s a dark twist, yet it doesn’t deter you in any way. While the more dark gazed touches of “Endless” showcase the heftier path that the band is on, there’s still plenty to unpack here. The song has twists of shoegaze notes that strip through the lighted rays that the vocals craft, underpinned by drums and a bass line that cover the bottom end.
Heading closest to their past sound here comes in on the snappy stride of “Pyramid.” Mixing a ghostly vocal with swirls of guitar and an up structure, the way the guitar at times cuts through the melody like a knife to butter creates a dizzying array of notes that pull you in. Though even with the pedal graced colors on “Solo,” the biggest standout of the release for us comes with “Moths.” About as perfect of a post-punk sound as you’re going to hear, the band heads towards the noir here and digs deeper and deeper. The way the drums are mixed and the guitar is arranged fabricates a sound that reminds you of the best works from bands like The Cure and P.I.L. In a time where many bands are gracing to doorstep of post-punk, El Lago not only gets there perfectly, they draw a map on how to get there.
Pyramid is available today digitally in all outlets. It can also be purchased on cassette and compact disc directly from the band. It’s also available for preorder on vinyl from Wallflower Records. El Lago is set to perform two EP release parties, one tonight in Galveston, TX at Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe and one in Houston, TX on November 01 at Big Top Lounge. The band will also appear at LEVITATION on November 08 and at Third Eyeland Party in Galveston, TX on November 16.
Image Credits: Photo by Daniel Jackson.