Has it really been almost two years since Have a Nice Life first burst into our collective consciousness as a band that was talked about in soft whispers and wild rumor? Well, it has; it has indeed been roughly two years (give or take several months), and now the band is releasing Time of Land as a free digital download (after being a cassette release at the first show that the band played live) as their second official release (late last year saw the release of Voids, an official bootleg of their demo and other such rarities).
Time of Land is evidence of a band emerging from their first recordings (which are excellent in it of themselves) with a broader palette to offer listeners as the new ideas further live up to the promise and execution of the first album from Have a Nice Life. Swirling keyboard and other assorted electronic sounds bulwark cavernous sounding drum machines that give a heartbeat to the EP, all provide quiet a dense sound that truly creates quite an atmosphere. The vocals are a big kicker on Time of Land as they help to bring a cohesiveness to the EP through the mellow songs ("Wizards of the Black Hundreds" and "The Parhelic Circle") and the more pop songs ("Woe Unto Us" and "The Icon and the Axe"), which one would be hard pressed to find catchier dark pop than these right now.
Time of Land is a mostly mellow affair with quite a bit of catchy pop elements that draw the listener into its waves of pleasant atmospherics and deceivingly unassuming vocals that play at not being the center of attention while subtly grabbing the spotlight at times while not sacrificing the overall moods and melodies of the songs on the EP. While the physical release of Time of Land is unavailable (again, the extremely kvlt cassette release available at their first show may be completely gone for good) Have a Nice Life make the EP available to everyone and anyone through the populist style of a free download through their record label Enemies List; so, there is no excuse to not go over and collect this excellent release for your listening pleasure. If this is where the band is going to go on their next full length, I am preparing to be blown away; but in the meantime, we all have these four songs to obsess over until then.
8.5 / 10
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