Eat Lights Become Lights - Into Forever

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2014-05-05

Neo-Krautrockers Eat Lights Become Lights continue to speed ever further into the hazy middle distance on their endless motorik highway. ‘Velocet Vir Nesat’, the opening track on this fourth album, is like a hyperactive Neu!, spinning faster and faster until it almost flies out of control, while the glacial ‘Bounce Synth’ takes a leaf out of Cluster’s book with some bucolic ambient sounds.

Elsewhere, ‘You Are Disko’ marries the bleep ‘n’ clunk of prime-era Kraftwerk with warmer analogue synth sounds and charging guitar reminiscent of Stereolab, while ‘Time Enough’ has a great, portentous, John Carpenter-esque melody line. Unfortunately, ‘Shapes and Patterns’, which consists of cod-Indian sounds and a gratingly cheery, repetitive melody, is more like Tangerine Dream at their cheesy 80s worst than their early-70s pioneering best. It becomes annoying very quickly. Thankfully, it’s the shortest track on the album.

The first of the album’s long tracks (both clocking in at over 10 minutes) is ‘Vapour Trails’, which does better with its Eastern drones, finger-picked guitar and ghostly, choral synths. However, ELBL don’t take this anywhere, and the track begins to drag well before it’s time’s up.

The title track, meanwhile, takes its cue from Krautrock supergroup Harmonia, mixing clicking, delicate percussion with winking synths and chiming, distant guitar. It’s the best realised piece of music on the album and, as it builds gradually, doesn’t outstay its welcome.

Apart from this, however, it’s hard to escape the feeling that ELBL are recycling the music they love while adding little that’s new. They’re far from the only band doing this, of course, but there’s none of the wit or inventiveness Fujiya & Miyagi apply to their appropriations of the motorik beat, or indeed that you could hear on earlier ELBL releases such as Heavy Electrics. ELBL should thinking about making their music essential, not just pleasant. 

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