Luftwaffe, helmed by Bennett Smith and Toby Albman, waft into the room like mid-afternoon sunshine and linger like perfumed tufts of smoke, drifting away before you can even take a hesitant puff. It reminds me once again why I find the 7-inch to be such a great medium of music-minded expression: They always leave you wanting more.
A lot of my favorite bands’ best material can be found on 7-inches. Daughters. Lemon Kittens. The Shins (as I’ve detailed before on numerous occasions). Desperate Bicycles. Charles Bronson. The Screamers. The fucking, the fucking BETA Band.
I guess it’s ironic that the most subtle bands often seem to possess the most strength, Luftwaffe being an excellent example of such. They tread water with light, fluffy sound clouds, dialing down to the sub-sub-sub depths of the mind, then PLUNG even deeper than you were ready for by dint of repetition and the occasional splash of accent here and there, like blotches of red paint dashed about by an artist with the control and patience to replicate reality and perhaps even improve upon it.
The infinitely echo-drenched vocals are going to net ‘Waffe some comparisons to a lot of bands they easily match swords with, and I feel they carry more potential than your standard chillwave act. There’s a lot of heart here; a lot of range, too. “Never Let Me Go” is a near-perfect cut, it’s intro stripped of drums and walked carefully off into the sunset by … sleigh bells? Tambourine? A shaker of some sort? WHO THE EFF KNOWS?
All that matters is I like it, OKAYUH!!
Moving on, Side B is a ton SNAPpier than A, and it’s a nice push-pull that, again, reminds why the 7-inch format can be such a killer-no-filler enterprise. “Old Friends” is my favorite, a slithery post-Broadcast (by the way, RIP Trish Keenan of Broadcast; she died of pneumonia today, apparently, and I think she didn’t get the recognition she deserved here in the statesies), post-Clinic barn-dance — that comparison is mostly BASed on the BASs line though — that instantly reaches out and distinguishes itself amid the cluttery indie landscape, dealing in futuristic-yet-of-the-moment sounds that create the ultimate bubble-dome around yr ears.
“Warm Blood” is technically as sound as “Old Friends” too but I’m a little stutter-stuck on the latter to even continue this review in track-by-track fashion, and besides: We’re all out of songs.
I can feel it — 2011 is going to be a great year. Already, due to influxes of vinyl from La Station Radar, Isolated Now Waves, De Stijl and now Luftwaffe, I’ve heard more high-stardard shit than I usually imbibe in a whole month. God Bless AmURHica.