Latah Nights (Spark & Shine)
by Scott Deckman
Situated somewhere between fuzzy garage rock and the guitar wah-wah of Dinosaur Jr., RevoltRevolt are tour mates of fellow Boise, Idaho, indie stalwarts Built to Spill (though I’m not sure “indie” fits them anymore since they’ve been on Warner Bros. Records for most of their career). And yes, they sound a bit like them, too.
On Latah Nights, their new mini-album out on Spark & Shine Records, RevoltRevolt throw some smoke up while exorcising a few fretboard demons. Those looking for spit-shine polish should look elsewhere, as sections of “Gold” are so low-fi that they sound subaquatic; the guitar peals bring to mind whales noises (I’m assuming these sounds were made by guitars). “Gold” is like a Walk on the Languid Side of Wayne Coyne, the vocals buried so deep you can’t tell what the hell vocalist Chris Bock is saying. But the sound is what matters here.
There’s something a bit foreboding and even scary about the chords played on “Flares,” and part of the riff running through “Ransome Reprise” is reminiscent of Sebadoh’s “Flame,” one of the better songs off the band’s 1999 The Sebadoh record (and like the name says, it’s also a reprise of the song “Ransome” from RevoltRevolt’s 2009 debut Chordata.) “Hell Has Its Roads” meanders a bit, “Satellite” mixes things up with a lighter melody, and “Dangerous Place” is a Pogues/Motor City Devils dirge for lo-fi aficionados who like two-and-a-half-minute-long guitar histrionics.
Getting sound veteran Conrad Uno to help matters again was a smart move, as he’s helmed Supersuckers, Zeke, Mudhoney, and Presidents of the United States of America records, to name a few.
Some will like Latah Nights more than others, but at least they’re going for it. This is post-grunge we can live with.