In one of this year's most eccentric pairings, we have Music Ruins Lives's second release: a split between Pennsylvania bedroom projects Lonesummer and Planning for Burial. Living on opposite sides of the music spectrum, Lonesummer, as previously described, utilizes elements of black metal and noisepop, and now what appears to be screamo has been stirred into the melting pot, whereas Planning for Burial, at least on this release, relies more on delicate textures, bringing bands such as Landing and Low to mind. Through this collaboration, it can be concluded that what is "pretty" doesn't have to be confined to crystal clear production and sounds that could only be emanated by tickling a fairy.
Starting with Planning for Burial, the listener is immediately thrust into swirling layers of looped keyboards and guitars, eventually joined by Thom's ethereal voice and electronics, making for a condensed, syrupy, slow pop song. "Syrupy" is definitely a word of interest for PfB's half of the split, with solo musician Thom Wasluck utilizing various unique textures all at once to paint a sonic portrait of longing. It is as if one was to look at what is considered a master painting and be able to see all the different layers of paint and erased features and truly understand all the work and craftsmanship that went into such a fantastic work. Though vastly different than his metal-tinged debut, "Leaving," the three songs presented in this split simply show another side of Thom Wasluck's genius ear for texture and song craft.
The always prolific Lonesummer takes over for the last four tracks on this cd. Drenched in fuzz and almost incomprehensible, it took me a few listens to fully understand just what was happening here, and yet that has become a part of the overall Lonesummer experience. Yet, as blisteringly harsh and tinny as this side may be, behind all the noise and fuzz there is some wonderful music. Moving from blasting post-rock-tinged black metal to the mid-paced, almost Weezer-like "I Wish I Could Delete Last Night," main-man Drew reminds us that Lonesummer, though based in black metal, is always progressing. The closer, "Your Eyes Always Shake Me", features a first for Lonesummer: clean vocals, and hyper-sensitive clean vocals at that (without being lame, of course).
The musical marriage of Planning for Burial and Lonesummer was definitely an unexpected one, and yet both projects "brought their A-game" to this release. Though experimental to the "standard" music fan, it is obvious just how talented these two musicians are, and, even if they record in bedrooms, I would certainly hope that they had loyal fans just the same.
You can purchase this fantastic release, as well as two awesome preorders, at the Music Ruins Lives store. I own copy 64/100!