January 24, 2005
BY JASON SONGE
Earlimart rocked harder than I expected at Twiropa Monday night. I heard about their sad sound, but there was more to Earlimart than that. Their music used a poppy base for experimental wanderings--like if Elliott Smith used way more spacey effects. Obvious influences were Pink Floyd and Low. The band's music wasn't depressing. It was relatable and more of a salve because of lead singer/guitarist Aaron Espinoza and bassist/pianist Ariana Murray's airy delivery and heavenly synthesized symphonics.
Most of the lyrics were delivered in a hushed and thus indecipherable tone. But, repeated, key lyrics phrases like "You should know by now" and "Nothing's good until it hurts," though ambiguous since not in context, were human feelings that helped me connect with the music.
Earlimart was a rock quintet from Los Angeles that formed in 1996. They put out four albums and one EP, all on independent labels.
Earlimart plodded at mid-tempo as distorted, almost electronic sounding drums kept a repetitive beat. An enjoyable acoustic guitar melody was embellished upon with different sounds--guitar effects galore, feedback, and alien tones thrown in for a few seconds every verse.
Earlimart was unpredictable. Abstract, ethereal interludes interrupted straightforward, folky progressions, but even more unexpected and nice was when a song dragged out for a minute longer than other bands would normally let it. This allowed me to get lost in the music.
Even though Earlimart was the opener, they got a good response from the audience. Maybe because Earlimart looked like they were having fun playing the music.
Along with the mid-temp stuff, Earlimart played fuzzed-out, guitar-heavy songs reminiscent of Blur a few times. They were hard to pin down, which was wonderful. None of their songs sounded the same, and I never knew what noise was coming next.
The music was intelligent and well developed.