The excellently-named I Can Hear Myself Levitate has dropped a new EP, A City Submerged. While it does retain elements of the radio-friendly rock mashup sound I reviewed so favorably last May, ICHML has pushed its own boundaries in song construction since their last outing.
These four tunes skew much more toward a tension-filled post-hardcore (a la the soon-to-be-broken up The Felix Culpa). Even though the band has largely eschewed traditional v/c/v song structure (or at least masked it quite well), the poppier moments of the sound like the artier moments of AFI’s more recent albums. Opener “Saints and Converts” takes familiar sounds and spins them in delightfully unexpected ways, playing with audience expectations. “Empires” employs a similar tactic, although it does ratchet up to a huge ending with a whoa-oh male chorus. But by that point, it’s what you want to hear!
If you’re not into the emo/punk/post-hardcore sound ca. 2000-2006, you aren’t the audience for I Can Hear Myself Levitate. If you did come of age on dime-a-dozen emo/punk bands, you’ll love A City Submerged. At four tunes and 14 minutes, it’s exactly the right length to enjoy legitimately and fully (nostalgically or currently) without losing interest. I Can Hear Myself Levitate, like A Road to Damascus, is a band that reminds me why played-out sounds became overdone in the first place: when done well, those sounds can light me up with adrenaline.