L'altra - In The Afternoon (CD/LP) Album of the week - Mar 23 - Mar 30 2002!
(Aesthetics Records - www.aesthetics-usa.com - AST25CD)
L'altra are the four-piece band from Chicago responsible for 2000's beautiful "Music Of A Sinking Occasion" album. Chances are, if you enjoyed their previous full-length, you'll love this. On "In The Afternoon," L'altra perfects their sound, producing a crisp, beautiful album that - dare I say - surpasses their previous work. On "Certainty," the second song here, L'altra takes the listener on a trip; the track doesn't seem content to merely stick with the same formula throughout, instead vying for a more varied, evolving style. This results in something that feels like more than a song, but rather a journey. This style is used throughout the album, and exemplifies L'altra's seperation from the world of the boring "verse-chorus-verse-chorus-verse-etc." formula. Another piece, "Traffic," goes through a number of transitions throughout its entirety, and each one is executed flawlessly and beautifully. The music itself sounds sort of like Low crossed with Cat Power, except with a much less funereal touch.
It can be said that the style of "sadcore," for lack of a better name, is a relatively new thing on the scene. Ever since Low popularized it, a number of bands have come along and messed about with it, creating numbers upon numbers of variants upon the original style. Some have been successful, while others are utter travesties upon the music scene. It is fairly obvious where L'altra fits into this equation.