Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on ‘Policy,’ a two-track EP that has been released by Airlift, a new independent rock outfit that formed in New York this last spring. The five-piece band consists of two guitarists, a singer, a drummer, and a bassist, and they cite inspiration the likes of The Smiths, Sonic Youth, and Pearl Jam. ‘Policy’ is their debut effort, and a full length record is expected to follow. Are these two songs worth taking a listen to? Let’s dig in and find out.
Despite not claiming to sound anything like their influences, there is most certainly a Smiths-esque sound to ‘Policy of Containment,’ the A-side of ‘Policy.' That inspiration is particularly noticeable in regard to the vocalist's style. The soundscape reverberates behind his presence as his performance becomes increasingly more passionate and dire. The instrumentation echoes this tone, too, and ‘Policy of Containment’ reaches a dynamic explosion of rocking intensity in its final moments.
Each member of Airlift is in fine form, and ‘Policy of Containment’ is an excellent exhibition of the guitar and percussion banter in the band. The percussion is especially thunderous, and truly acts as the pivotal backbone to the track. Airlift’s compositional style embraces a level of brevity, too, akin to punk music or the like. They’re talented performers, but there isn’t any ostentatious soloing to be found.
‘Like a Borderline,’ the more intricate B-side on ‘Policy,’ is no less excellent than its predecessor. Again, the instrumental performances are fiercely fervent, and the lead vocalist shines with some more extensive lyrical content. Despite being shorter than ‘Policy of Containment,’ ‘Like a Borderline’ covers a lot more sonic territory. There are rises and falls in its presentation, and the electric guitar performances are pleasantly colored by the softer segments.
Airlift have something very special here. Both of these songs are superb, and I’d even go as far to argue that ‘Like a Borderline’ is the very best of the two. The production quality is outstanding as well, which will make the 7’’ color vinyl release of this record even more worth picking up this December.
Check out Airlift below and keep tabs for their new music on the horizon!