Lorelei and LU front man Matthew Dingee strikes out on his own with Grappa. The results wear the influences of those bands on Grappa's sleeve. The ten track debut, "Designer Ecology", starts in a shoegaze haze with the first three tracks lost in the same distorted tone, finally coming to a head with "Lack there of", a clamorous instrumental reminiscent of the drone-techno of GAS. This opening salvo will remind lorelei fans of their earliest pre-recorded material. But just as the backlash against the shoegaze movement eventually brought us to the retro spartan sounds of new wave, this release strips away the blurry tunnel and emerges with a set of minimal tracks that would have fit on the Cure's "Seventeen Seconds" or "Faith". "The sun will fail to rise" has the clean production values of those early Cure records while "Shortness of breath" takes on their dirge tempo. The post-punk influence doesn't dissipate but Ecology does take a decidedly experimental turn starting with the vocal round-robin of "Begin the descent" and followed by the epic "Bent, unbent". This track may be the strongest of the bunch as it combines many of the elements that fans of LU and lorelei have come to enjoy. Subtly filtered and evolving drums and piano shift beneath a glowering guitar swell that slides into an onslaught of noise as an increasingly panicked vocal grows the tension. Two markedly pop-oriented tracks follow and act as counterpoint to the otherwise somber overall tone. But by the end of this release the vocals are twisted beyond recognition in "The water beggar" which features enough guitar layering to make Glenn Branca proud.
item # 17802