On the Lam

On the Lam

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On the Lam Review

by Pemberton Roach

On the Lam's promotional material sometimes refers to the band's style as power pop but, although melodic, the music on this EP has much more to do with emocore and prog-leaning alternative rock. Sonic points of reference include harder-edged New York groups like Garden Variety and Blue Sand Castle, as well as lead singer/guitarist Chris Wiedemann's former band, 50 Feet Tall. This is technically and emotionally complex stuff, but repeated listening reveals numerous hooks initially overwhelmed by the band's explosive energy. Wiedemann's lyrics and vocals occasionally have a serpentine, non-narrative quality reminiscent of Stephen Malkmus, but On the Lam's musicians are much more technically competent than the members of Pavement. In fact, the combination of Matt Friscia's powerhouse, chops-heavy drumming and the driving, busy basslines of Mike Fuji (who has since been replaced by ex-Wheatus four-stringer Rich Leigy) would likely satisfy any Rush fan's thirst for rhythm section gymnastics. Overall, the On the Lam EP is a fine slice of vibrant indie rock that adds up to more than the sum of its influences.

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