Across Tundras / Lark’s Tongue: Split LP

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Across Tundras / Lark’s Tongue: Split LP
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Across Tundras / Lark's Tongue: Split LP
Doom Metal, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Shoegaze, Stoner Rock
Cavity Records
April 20th, 2013
Release length: 32:00
Across Tundras:
Bandcamp
Facebook
Myspace

Lark’s Tongue
Bandcamp
Facebook
Soundcloud

Cavity Records has brought together two rising names within the Progressive, Psychadelic, and Stoner Rock fields. Across Tundras has been hard at work since 2004, signing with Neurot Recordings, and just recently issued their ninth full-length album, Electric Relics. Then you have Lark’s Tongue, who has only put out a couple split releases, all of which are on their Bandcamp page. With the combination of these two groups for a thirty-two minute split LP, many fans have started calling it an epic collaboration. But, does this team up work out, or is this EP just a collection of some b-side material that may very well put you to sleep?

For the most part, both groups present rather crisp audio on both of their songs. The guitars can be a bit muffled, carrying a deeper, early Rock styled distortion that works for the classic Rock sound coming from Across Tundras. Lark’s Tongue, however, can have a much cleaner approach that ushers in a hint of Shoegaze. The bass is rather deep all around, and some of the additional keyboards for background atmosphere are pretty clear, and have the potential to be obnoxiously loud. The drums all sound pristine, though the cymbals can have some echo on the Across Tundras side, while both have a tighter tuning to the snares, and a subtle click to the bass kick you can sometimes mistake for a thud on Lark’s Tongue‘s side.

First up is Lark’s Tongue with “Follow Your Nightmares.” The song carries a slightly trippy aura atop the cleaner Shoegaze riffs. It does elicit a bit of emotion in the introduction before really leaving the latter of those two sounds, almost taking on a tribal performance in the drumming that seems to force the energetic Psychadelic Rock approach to the forefront. As you progress, it cuts back to a very soothing blend of the two styles, even in the guitar solo. This presence is carried into “Aluminum,” though it incorporates a deeper sound in the guitars at times. This suits the atmosphere, and drowns out the horrible sound of the keyboards that nearly dwarf the riffs and vocals for most of the track before they seem to mesh together and just start making what amounts to one continuous annoyingly pitched noise.

While Lark’s Tongue sounds promising in respect to the Shoegaze, their side can be incredibly boring, and even irritating. Thankfully, the Across Tundras side picks things up a little more. “Low Haunts” is a largely Ambient piece at a slower pace. The guitars work together to create some haunting and astral atmospheres, while the drumming is pushed very far in the distance and establishes more of a tribal rhythm for four and a half minutes. After that, it goes into a traditional Stoner Rock song with a very catchy bass groove going on. While this is when the song really picks up, it just doesn’t fit the atmosphere the previous chunk established until near the very end. “Crux on Beer” does incorporate some Psychadelic Rock elements in the guitars here and there, but this one ends up largely boring. Much of the performance just sounds like the band is uninterested, and there are plenty of times the instruments just seem out of tune with one another. Even the guitar solo suffers greatly, and given the simpler nature and slower speed, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Sadly, this Split LP release just isn’t all that great. Lark’s Tongue still has a good deal of room to grow in order to further mature their mixture of Shoegaze and Psychadelic Rock, and Across Tundras is capable of so much better than what is present here, though “Low Haunts” wound up being an enjoyable song despite the clashing atmospheres. This isn’t a bad release, it’s just rather boring, and sometimes irritating. It sounds as if both bands dropped the ball with this Split LP, leaving behind a mess of good ideas, but poor, uninspiring material that even fans will have a hard time getting behind.

Lark’s Tongue:
01. Follow Your Nightmares – 8:35
02. Aluminum – 6:18

Across Tundras:
03. Low Haunts – 10:44
04. Crux to Beer – 6:23

Initial Pressing Score: 4/10

Across Tundras
Across Tundras

Lark's Tongue
Lark's Tongue

Digital review copy of this release provided by Cavity Records via Suspicious Activities PR.