Land of Talk Fun and Laughter

Land of Talk Fun and Laughter
It may be the vocal ailment that sidelined Elizabeth Powell or it could be a sign of "maturity," but there are fewer rough edges to the punk pop of Land of Talk on their exclusive new EP. In truth, some polish was first applied to the band's gritty pop sound on their infectious last record, Some are Lakes. Powell deemed it imperative to turn her roaring guitar down to better hear herself sing. There are several bubbling noise workouts here but they often rest on a bedrock of evenly delivered songs like "As Me," which employs Powell's beautiful, multi-tracked voice like an ambient instrument. The phrasing and content of "Sixteen Asterisk" are compelling and it and "May You Never" would fit on a record by any boy band on Arts & Crafts. But the ace in the hole is always Liz Powell, who continues to write eagle-eye songs with gigantic pop heart. (Saddle Creek)