Limited Sight Distance
"4-Song EP"

(Hand To Mouth Recordings 2002)

A songwriter and her influences are soon parted, it seems. When the fine people of Limited Sight Distance sent me some music and some biographical information, I took it upon myself to actually pay attention to it for once - maybe it would give me some insight into their music that I wouldn't be able to glean otherwise. It turns out that "biography" means "review" and that bands really don't know how to categorize themselves. "Derived from the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Flaming Lips, Patti Smith, Radiohead, Wilco, Spiritualized", the band claims that their "sonic tapestry" can only be described as "SpaceFolk"... whatever that means. Word to the wise: don't listen to the band. They don't know what they're talking about.

That being said, LSD's sound is truly singular. Their influences notwithstanding, the final product is reminiscent of music they may have never thought to mention. An interesting introduction to the first track, So Much Trouble, culminates in the pulsating guitar rhythm and satisfying graininess I've always associated with the Pixies. Fortunately, the rest of the 4-song release proves just as interesting, showcasing a wide variety of song styles and musical talent. It's Only Me, for example, has a peaceful, folksy feel, while Maybe is more ballad-like, more suited to a tearful listen.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of LSD is Stephanie Fix, the songstress herself. It's her fault, so to speak, that their music is so difficult to categorize. Her grasp of her own vocal ability is impressive. From song to song, she spans the full gamut of the "typical" female lead, at times emanating the deep croon of Poe or Natalie Merchant, other times the sliding nervousness of Sleater-Kinney, and still other times the candy-sweet drip of the Cardigans or Sixpence None the Richer.

The age-old complaint of the band full of songs that sound exactly the same hardly applies here, but the music begs for just a bit more cohesion - something to distinguish the music of Limited Sight Distance as uniquely their own, instead of simply unique.

B+