Album: Dot with a Dot in a Dot Dot Dot split EP
Best Element: Cohesive mood.
Label: Inderma Music
Having already reviewed half of the Theanti/Lamps split CD Dot with a Dot in a Dot Dot Dot, I went in knowing partly what to expect. I was looking forward to some crunchy, gritty post-hardcore rock with a penchant for artsiness, interspersed with whatever Lamps contributed.
In the press kit, I found that Lamps and Theanti are the same people – Theanti is the traditional band, and Lamps is the improv side. The importance of that knowledge was lost on me until I started listening to the album.
Theanti’s songs are thick, rhythmically complex and well-designed. Lamps’ are the natural counter to that aesthetic – the songs are built on a single melodic theme and usually rhythmically simple. Yet there is an overarching mood to the entire album due to the fact that the same two people composed it. This makes it a very complete listen – the cramped, gritty mood is cohesive, but the songwriting is varied and unpredictable. With everything from charging rockers to rickety acoustic numbers, this split has it all.
Dot with a Dot in a Dot Dot Dot is not a very comforting listen, as the players love their distortion and like dissonance, but it’s a very good listen that I would easily recommend to anyone interested in louder music. I enjoyed Theanti and Lamps better together than separately: if I had heard Lamps by itself I would have crowed for more complexity, and Lamps plus Theanti is even better than Theanti by itself.
– Stephen Carradini