Brooklyn’s own Life Size Maps know a thing or two about duality. For all intents and purposes, they’re your standard, experimental noise rock band, peppering their songs with heaps of random sonic explosions and effects that growl like caged animals. But amidst that junk-filled chaos are moments of pure elation and elegance represented by orchestral-like instrumentation. Together, these sounds make for a dynamic of pure musical synergy.
The group’s six-song EP, Magnifier, is a perfect sample of their masterfully mishmashed sound. Opener “This Same House” is all fury and destruction, with slight tinges of strings to add an air of relief to the unending, punk-esque annihilation. “Mechanical Man”, on the other hand, is decidedly more grandiose, almost romantic in scope. “It’s Leaking” acts as the effort’s most emotional track, with an unshakable frailty found throughout, but one that’s made sinister with the slightest of musical tweaks.
“All Been Spent” may not have the same emotional depth, but it’s the most basic and punk-like cut. It also happens to be the most catchy offering on the EP. Album closers “When the Coast Is Clear” and “The Sleep Northeast” similarly suffer in comparison to the EP’s more powerful tracks. The former is simply far too in-line with the previous 2/3 of the album, while the latter finds the band creating a folk-heavy track, which, while not unpleasant, seems out of place (even with its noisy barrage exit).
In describing Magnifier, and possibly Life Size Maps in general, the most succinct description is this: sensory overload. But feeling lost in a sea of music and noise isn’t a bad thing. With this effort, they have displayed an ability to dole out complicated, efficient, and catchy rock songs. At its very core, it’s music for everyone across the indie spectrum.
Essential Tracks: “All Been Spent”