Language of Shapes seem to be on quite the creative wave as of late. Barely six months ago the band released their excellent sophomore album Mother Mountain. On that, the band pushed their organic and psychedelic sounds into new sonic territories. The songs breathed more. They were more expansive and lingered somewhere between here and outer space. Not to sit on their creative laurels, LoS have given us the exquisite ThunderKryst EP. Four songs, two of which are re-imaginings of songs off their 2012 debut album, one off Mother Mountain, and one new track. Further proof that if given the chance, Language of Shapes will indeed rule the universe, people.
There is one distinct difference between the Language of Shapes of 2014 and the Language of Shapes of today, and that is Patrick Mackay. Patrick Mackay has been welcomed into the LoS fold as guitarist extraordinaire and his contribution is immediately heard on opening track “Push Hard and Swallow”. This new track, if an indication as to future musical directions, is quite promising indeed. Not losing any of the band’s immediacy, the track has a vitality and urgency to it that carries you along. With Mackay adding more nuance than melody, he helps to build up the vocals of singer/multi-instrumentalist Tristram Burden and singer/mandolin player J.E. Seuk. As usual, the rhythm section of Courtland Miles and Bobby Goldberg add both depth and a solid backbone that steadies the songs delicate and immediate nature.
“Jaws of a Friend” and “Now We See The Dead”, off of Language of Shapes excellent 2012 debut have been given the LoS 2015 treatment. They both now possess a vastness and a big-eyed, existential melancholy to them thanks to three years of figuring how to properly set up room mics and the masterful use of reverb. The new versions of these LoS classics absolutely shine.
The band has not only developed their songwriting and musician skills, but they have become quite adept at making themselves sound damn good in the recorded realm as well. The fact that they record everything at home gives them the freedom to experiment and let things grow organically. Organic is an overused word at times, but in the case of Language of Shapes I feel it’s a perfect descriptor for these lovely souls. ThunderKryst EP is a perfect example of their organic and natural growth as artists. If it’s any indication as to what we have to look forward to in the future, then the future doesn’t look quite so bleak.
8.5 out of 10