Lydia’s Sleep – Wires

3 out of 5

Label: self-released

Produced by: Chris Common

Some really excellent hardcore, mathy punk instrumental interplay that’s somewhat diluted by emo-tinged inbetweens.

Look: besides the fact that I have no talent, one of the reasons I gave up on my dream of being a cool band frontman was because I didn’t have the voice for it. That doesn’t mean you – you, the millions and billions of you reading this – shouldn’t pursue your singing dream, nor does it mean that one can’t develop their voice, of course, but I also think there’s the reality that some of us are cursed with emo vocals. If you want to sing in an emo band, no prob, of course, but maybe that’s not your favorite genre, and it’s hard to get away from cringing when you hear your slightly whiny vocals and vague lyrics making you instantly sound like something that can be typified with a single term.

Alas, Lydia’s Sleep – credited with two vocalist, but I’m not sure who’s taking lead here – fall into this trap, but I’d also say they play it up a bit when someone’s singing: the dual guitar, bass, and drums post-hardcore becomes slightly more streamlined. The group is comprised of some clearly talented players, and they’re backed by Chris Common’s amazing production, giving the recording both depth and a crispness, but the moments that tend to stand out are when no one’s emoting, and we’re just reveling in some These Arms Are Snakes-ish punky back-and-forth. Final track Leaving Early brings in some gang vocals for a propulsive conclusion, proving the group can apply its singy sound in a way more palatable to my ears, and probably also quite proving that the sound of this is all down to individual tastes.

As I circle back around on the EP, I am more and more impressed by the group’s tightness; Wires still isn’t particularly a standout either on the emo or post-hardcore side of the fence, but it’s a solid addition that delivers solid riffs and slabs of rock on each track.