Istanbul Is Sleepy by The Liminanas

Release date: November 17, 2017
Label: Because Music

The Liminanas have long been purveyors of 60’s influenced psych undercut with a dark charm, and new EP Istanbul Is Sleepy continues much in that vein. Released as a kind of stopgap before a new album emerges in early 2018, the EP is essentially a four track vehicle for a title track which features the vocal talents of Anton Newcomb (Brian Jonestown Massacre). Here he provides his dulcet tones to the opening track, but also casts an intriguing shadow over the rest of the EP.

The driving bass of the title track provides an intense motorik start to proceedings, as a swirling organ plays out alongside the drawling vocals of Anton Newcomb. Themes of power, pleasure and hedonism play out on a magic carpet ride, as Newcomb channels that heady rock n roll loucheness that makes BJT such an, at times, exciting band. Here he sounds urgent, rather than throwaway, as he is won’t to do, and adds a certain menace to the song. It’s 80’s post-punk psychedelia, wrapped up in a Velvet Underground wrapping paper. Dark and dirty, yet full of easy charm.

The Gallic charm of ‘Nuit Fantome’ is much more subtle. A softly spoken monologue, punctuated by a glorious chorus of la la la’s, it’s sweet exterior hiding a dark 60’s vibe lurking beneath. It’s the light to the title tracks shade, and serves as an elusive pop gem after the grime and dirt of Newcomb’s drawl. It’s only let down is that it is over all too quickly before the bluster of ‘Shadow People’ begins.

The incessant stomp of this new song makes a direct play for your ears and mind, yet it’s sheer eagerness makes it slightly inconsequential. The Liminanas may have been aiming for an uplifting glam stomp, yet fall short with a song which is more filler than killer. Such is the perils of an EP, where particular attention may not lie on presenting a well hewn suite of songs, this acts as a kind of afterthought, albeit unusual due to its nature of trying to stand out.

Better is the final song, a straightforward cover of Echo And The Bunnymen’s ‘Angels And Demons’. A song more known by a hardened Bunnymen follower than a fair-weather one, it highlights a seam of psychedelia that has been derived from a lineage of bands which has become something of a canon within the history of music. Almost a homage, it acts as a final reminder that you can never discount The Liminanas. It’s unlikely to become a classic (much like the rest of the EP), but it adds some hefty meat to a great catalogue of songs. On this pegging, we can look forward to next years album with anticipation.

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