Living Space
"Fade Into Existence"

(Dark Matters 2002)Living Space - Fade Into Existence

Most bands tend to take their influences, the musicians they grew up listening to, and combine them to create their sound. Living Space, however, does not mix their influences. The result is shown on "Fade Into Existence," where each song seems to have a different style. The band ends up sounding one moment like something from Randy California's "Kapt. Kopter & The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds" and another imitating vocals like the Eurythmics' Annie Lennox. The band offers a variety of styles from poppy soft rock to groove-driven songs and even a spacey instrumental.

Living Space "fade" in slow and grooving with "19 Lines" and soon pick up the pace a little. Staying with the minimalist instrumentation, "U.S." is a quieter song trying to infuse more melody into the choruses as does "Down in Denver" which has some enjoyable moments. The band, oddly, changes direction for the spacey and very short instrumental "Gamez" and continue by adding the groove driven foreground on "Don't Be Long," a low point on the album. Living Space makes yet another change to a slower gospel feel for "Stay Up," which almost works but, either way, does not make a lot of sense.

"Officer, he made me do it" is more in the original vein the band introduce on "Fade Into Existence" but with bigger and louder instrumentation and leaning more towards rock or even a little ska. It is an OK riff that sticks out in the, again, slower "Bad Bunch" while "Running to a Train" is led more by groove and R&B-style crooning vocals. "Happyface," meanwhile, shows the band's adeptness at writing a pop rock tune that has possibilities. The album's final song, "Boo Moe," opens with an answering machine message which is mixed with beats.

While the album's biggest problems are probably the lack of focus and polish, "Fade Into Existence" is still listenable. With as much stylistic jumping around as the band does, it makes you wonder what the band wants to sound like while the vocals along with the recording could use a bit more refinement. The album, unquestionably, has heart and by the upbeat nature of the songs, you can tell the band is enjoying what they are doing. And, really, that is what it is about at the end of the day.

C+

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