Review: “Soft Places + Within A Dream II” by The Lees Of Memory

The Lees Of Memory put out one of the better (if not, best) record of 2014, Sisyphus Says and despite not going on tour to support it, the band has made it completely clear that they are not a one-off side project.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, The Lees Of Memory consists of multi-instrumentalist John Davis and guitar extraordinaire Brandon Fisher both formally of the most underrated power-pop in music history Superdrag, drummer Nick Slack and produced by three time Grammy winner Nick Raskulinecz.

Combining influence of My Bloody Valentine with the harmonies of Teenage Fan Club, last year’s Sisyphus Says towered over other bands in the recent revival of shoegaze, with Davis/Fisher’s knack for crafting both infectious pop, and gut wrenching emotion within each song, something that had always been missing in the sub-genre. Another added ingredient is tying all sorts of instruments that not only seem alien to shoegaze but alternative rock in general. Songs feature a wall of bendy guitars, fuzzy synths, soaring vocal harmonies, but also sitar and pedal steel. Truly an instant classic, but where would they go from there? Could Sisyphus Says be a fluke? Not a chance.

While already hard at work on their sophomore LP, The Lees Of Memory decided to throw out a new EP exclusive to Record Store Day, showing off two brand new songs that completely stand on their own whether they decide to include them on the next full length or not.

Side A, Soft Places is a hard hitting power pop anthem by John Davis, that features all of the lush sythm, thundering percussion and grinding wall of guitar that was prominent on their debut LP but now with even more direction and confidence as if Lees were veterans in the genre they are helping revive.

Side B, Within A Dream II by Brandon Fisher is a bit more sonically ambitious, with it’s dramatic note bending guitar riff, poetic lyrics backed by a symphony of synths, sounding almost like a sequel to his track Deliquesce from last year’s LP.

If hearing these two songs on vinyl  is any indicator, we are really in for something special when their next full length is released. Being excited for new music is a testament to how good The Lees Of Memory are. These days, music is so ready available thanks to Soundcloud and Pandora, but these guys are bringing that vintage excitement back. If you were lucky enough to find Soft Places + Within A Dream II during Record Store Day, you are not only extremely lucky being there was only around a thousand printed, but you are also hearing these two songs the way they weren’t meant to be heard. Nothing compares to the warmth and intimacy you get with hearing this band on that format. However, for those of you who didn’t get a chance to pick it up, a few weeks later they released them for download on iTunes. If you were a fan of The Lees Of Memory’s debut, do yourself a favor and download these songs immediately, you will not be disappointed.

Download “Soft Places + Within A Dream II” on iTunes.

Follow The Lees Of Memory on Twitter

Watch my video review of “Sisyphus Says”

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Aaron The Audiophile

Son, brother, uncle, musician. I enjoy music of all genres, shapes and sizes, preferably the good kind.

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