How rare is it that you get to say that every release a band has put out has been your favorite of theirs to date? I can say that about White Laces. It’s as much a winning streak as it is evidence of the band’s searching nature. They’ve changed a bit with each release, and with No Floor, I think they’ve found something really remarkable.
There’s more synth/programming than ever on this album, and heading in that direction has opened up a powerful pairing — the precision of synthetic elements and the fluidity of Landis Wine’s voice, which is one of the most distinctive in town. The effect is almost visual; when I close my eyes and listen to the choruses of “Cheese” or “Mall Madness,” I see sharp edges layered with colorful, rolling hills. I see contrast. Not dissonance, necessarily, just contrast.
Tori Hovater’s vocals work similarly — they’re such a complement to Wine’s — and I’m wild about the minor turn the grinding synth sound takes during the chorus of “Youth Vote.” It came as a surprise the first time I heard it, but the contrast it builds with the major sound of the verse makes it a surprise that rewards over and over.
On the meaningful and memorable “Dots,” Wine sings “I used to think about time as a living thing.” It seems to me that, by drawing inspiration from the 1980’s, White Laces has found a really exciting way forward — one that has them sounding as lively as ever.