#1 Defender’s debut EP “The Lana Lang Effect” is an album that establishes a firm foundation for them to build on. It’s not a particularly spectacular release, but it’s not too shabby either.
Their sound is of the melodic emo variety; you know, the kind of band that likes to sound innocent and pretty, then eat your face off with unexpected bursts of intensity. Even though this formula has been used and abused, #1 Defender excels at the genre due to the fact that their explosions of hardcore madness are actually unexpected. They don’t follow a verse/chorus/verse structure very often, which leads to rambling songs that explore every possibility of a riff.
But don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, my favorite song here is the meandering “Recall the Summer”. The guitars seem to curl, twist, and glide during the first couple seconds of the song, before unexpectedly imploding into a rush of solid guitars. They continually switch about every 15 seconds during the verses….which is quite interesting and not as disjointed as you would think.
There’s not that much to discredit here, which is something #1 Defender has always been good at. They have some highlights here, but their later work shows more expansion of the themes that they briefly touch here. A worthy debut of a stellar band.