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Spotlight on: Space EP by Lese Majesty

Lese Majesty Lese Majesty, Space EP

Add Julian Lynch to the ever-growing list of indie singer-songwriters recording under a pseudonymous band name. with his Space EP (at this writing, available free through his website), he shows himself to be a deserving member of their company, even if he could use a good producer to smooth out the wrinkles.

In the Space EP's opener, "Lulled into Nightmares," he showcases his layering style, with different sounds and instruments coming in on top of each other. It all happens slowly and builds to the vocal opening, then ends mysteriously. I wish it had taken its time and led to a more satisfying conclusion. Actually, all of the songs suffer from being too short. Developing his ideas further could only benefit his songs. Lynch's voice may not be the best (he tends to attempt notes he can't quite reach), but he's ambitious and it suits the music just fine. It even adds to that "indie" feeling of the record.

The "wood block" percussion and farfisa of the first song recur in "Waiting to Spin Out of Control," an example of too much musical information in a small space. The backwards drum beat distracts from the melody and makes the whole song sound like a staticky radio station. This is only exacerbated in headphones.

Unfortunately, the sound quality of the recording (what could be a stylistic choice, one can hardly tell these days), harms the majority of the songs, making what could be a really good experience into a merely pleasant one. This is what I meant about needing a good producer. Not a great one, just someone to make sure that Lynch's ideas come through loud and clear, instead of just loud. With digital sound the norm, clarity is of the utmost importance. If Lese Majesty were releasing on vinyl or cassette, it would matter less, but on a CD, it sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. In some songs, his lyrics are all but indecipherable.

Continuing... "Brushed Against the Saw" makes good use of sampled percussion, giving it definite Latin feel coincident with the lyrics about "monks in outer space." Track 4 begins the first part of the two-part "Soon" cycle. These are the clearest songs on the EP and benefit fully from that difference (though a random marching band sample seems out of place). The penultimate "Black Pig" hardly sticks around long enough to make an impresison, allowing "Soon Pt.2" to shine as it closes the album.

Lese Majesty's Space EP shows a lot of promise and potential, and I think that mastermind Julian Lynch will go far once his listeners can hear him clearly. Perhaps even as far as one-time stagemate Jason Anderson. We can only hope. Until then, email him for a copy and be there on the ground floor of a potentially towering career.

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