The last time Chicago avant-pop sextet A Lull came to the Steel City, they managed to book a gig playing in the South Side’s only metal/punk bar, The Smiling Moose, and boasted only the five-song Ice Cream Bones to their name. Churning, yet delicate tracks like “Skinny Fingers” and “White/Gold” hinted at where the group was headed sonically: circular rhythmic motifs, washes of acoustic guitars, muted, almost falsetto vocals and intricate percussion patterns that bordered on random sketching.
It’s a year later and A Lull plan to make a splash tonight at Lawrenceville’s Thunderbird Cafe, a far cry from the biker heavy back rooms of the Smiling Moose. While their production hasn’t exactly reached a fever pitch (two released songs in fourteen months by my count) the group comes to Pittsburgh with the “Weapons for War”/”Spread it All Around” 7” single in hand and some serious discussion of a full-length album due out later this year. Tracks after the jump.
Fortunately, the single manages to stand out as a triumphant new document of the group’s maturing sound: dense, focused and intricate with both tracks exhibiting skittering blankets of synth tinkering and a thicker embodiment of the rhythmic prowess exhibited on Ice Cream Bones. After hearing these two cuts, the anticipation for the full-length becomes a monthly update. How these songs will translate into a live setting will be a fascinating discovery, especially considering the Thunderbird’s small stage and A Lull’s six person lineup.