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Lenola | Treat Me To Some Life (File 13)
From the label that brought us Matt Pond PA's Measure, Treat Me To Some Life sees Lenola shedding the lo-fi space rock aesthetic of their first three albums and setting their exploratory tendencies to work on a collection of psychedelia-tinted pop songs. The Philadelphia quartet, led by principal songwriter Jay Laughlin and featuring Mazarin drummer Sean Byrne, bring a fresh perspective to tried and trusted formulas, striking a near-perfect balance between accessible pop convention and poised experimentation. Much as Mazarin's Watch It Happen flitted between huge pop hooks and introverted instrumental passages, Treat Me To Some Life brackets the radio-friendly sparkle of White-Lined Knuckle Landing with the percussion-heavy instrumental Derelict Organ and the distorted bombast of I Don't Mean, keeping the record alive with possibilities. Last year's Electric Tickle EP boasted the lead-off track Slipping Over The Shadows, which makes a welcome reappearance here, its infectious vocal hooks underpinned with slide guitar and discordant keyboards to keep it at a safe distance from yer mainstream airwaves. Whether hitting the high Wilson-meets-Martsch peaks of Come Down or opener First Floor Killer or revisiting his punk roots on I Don't Mean and bruising closer Silver Credentials, Laughlin's voice handles the turns with aplomb, the band equally adept a negotiating the winding trajectory of his songs.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001