(Click here for Part 1 of my review of the White Laces/Arches split 7-inch. Apologies up front for not addressing the yellow cassette that came with my pre-order, but it definitely deserves its own day in the sun.)
Dreams aren’t always made of cumulus clouds and unicorns. Even the most pleasant dreams have narrative surprises, shifting contexts and bouts with anxiety — all the messy side-effects of your brain’s attempt to file away the bazillion thoughts and images it has to absorb on a daily basis. I’ve fallen for Arches song “Late Last Night” because it illustrates how beautifully dream-like a song really can be, and not just because of its relaxed tempo or reverb-heavy guitar and vocal treatments. “Late Last Night” graces the opposite side from White Laces’ “Dissolve Into Color” on the two Worthless Junk labelmates’ recently released split 7-inch record, and it provides a fascinating counterbalance to its companion track. Sure, you start out floating happily along, riding the gentle waves of sliding and bending lead guitar lines, but just when you’re lulled into a state of relaxation, the song takes a sudden turn, with increased distortion and intensity. This darker cloud lifts soon enough, but the damage is done. Your sense of security is shot and you’re left waiting for the other turbulent shoe to drop. Herein lies the song’s strength — its shifts mimic brilliantly the way dreams evolve unexpectedly, without warning and seemingly without reason. When I wrote on Friday about White Laces’ side of the record, I spent some time talking about how much I loved the song’s ending. “Late Last Night” satisfies till its very last moments, as well. If you listen closely to the nearly minute-long drone that brings the song to a close, you’ll hear the tone kick up slightly just before it drops out. This makes me so happy, in part because I can’t help but think of the climactic scene in meta-scary movie Scream, in which one of the survivors correctly predicts that the killer, who appears to be dead, actually has one more scare left in him (before Neve Campbell shoots him in the head like a boss). That subtle tonal shift is a fitting end to the fitful sleep that “Late Last Night” affords, and I highly recommend that you click play below and see where the dream takes you. If you dig, you can buy the 7-inch from Worthless Junk Records here or name your price for a digital download of “Late Last Night” here.
Arches — “Late Last Night“