Will Schube was built to last.
The problem with many retro-leaning bands revolves around a lack of balance. Some lean too heavily on nostalgia (a band such as Tennis comes to mind), some distract from the music by distancing themselves from what they do best (the forthcoming Parkay Quarts record does away with the Velvet Underground influence in a fairly detrimental way— they’re at their best when they sound most like themselves, which is, ironically, like another band).
Spaceships, a boy-girl duo from Los Angeles, find that sweet-spot by embracing their influences in a way that informs yet never dominates their music. Consisting of Jessie Waite on guitar and vocals and Kevin LaRose on drums, the band borders the gap between overt playfulness and self-seriousness. Their latest EP, a four song affair released this past Tuesday, hammers home this aesthetic in concise songs, none of which last longer than three and a half minutes. “Good Gradez”, the album opener, uses a ferocious wall of guitars to layer the song in good vibes and sunshine. The fact that Waite’s voice is able to cut through the shoegaze-influenced guitar is a feat in and of itself, but her ability to control a track with such dense layering is particularly impressive. “Washed Out” has some serious swagger to it, pulsed by a subtle tambourine that inserts itself in just the right way. The chorus resembles a call-and-response—less interaction between the two musicians than a mocking back and forth of “la la la’s” that sound more like derisive, childish “na na na’s”.
The EP’s brevity is overshadowed by the surprising complexity of the tracks, which on the surface, don’t present much in terms of lasting effect. However, as warm weather slowly begins to give way to colder times, it’s of great comfort knowing that these summertime jams are multi-dimensional and made to last.