Power to the indomitable Lair! Spawned from the lives of Alek Glasrud (formerly of Arvid Noe) on guitar, synth, and vocals and John Moxley on vocals and rhythms, Lair is a grooving and phantasmagorical locomotive of a duo with a huge sound. They’re largely characterized by Moxley’s repetitive flowing rhythms à la krautrock and Glasrud’s looping synthesizer/guitar copulations. The latter’s understated vocals, worming in and out of the instrumentals, make for a distinctive cherry on top.
The band’s polychromatic compositions cycle through a dynamo of tones and emotions, ultimately taking the listener on a heady journey through a variety of weird realms, each one fresh in comparison to the last. The first track, “Galactic Agent,” opens with a wonky drone that quickly transitions into a medley of bubbling synth and guitar fanfare. Its an intro that sets the tone well for the rest of the album, oscillating as it does between smooth grooves, tense ascensions, and playful vitality. The juxtaposition between side A closer “Valentine Michael Smith” and side B opener “Chameleon” is probably the most clear illustration of this dynamic, with the tension-building loops and nervous harmonies of the former track resolving into the flowing krautrock-y rhythm and chill feel of the latter.
Lair is no doubt one of the most exciting new projects to emerge from Boston’s experimental music culture. Between Glasrud’s colorful guitar wizardry and Moxley’s dynamic beats, it’s easy to vibe with this seriously intoxicating magic. The new record, the first in-house record to drop from Allston’s Surveillance Investments, isn’t out until next week, but you can pre-order it here (only 240 copies, so get on it fast!) and take a listen to the first three tracks over here.