The Life and Times 

The Flat End of the Earth ep
/54° 40' or Fight!; 2003/



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After Houston a few weeks ago, 54°40’ or Fight introduces us to another good heavy emo melodic entity under the name of The Life and Times. Singer / guitarist Allen Epley is the master of ceremonies, supported by an inventive and solid rhythmic section, bass player John Meredith and drummer Mike Myers. ‘The Flat End of the Earth’ is a six tracks EP which is far more cohesive and incisive than Houston’s full length album we reviewed lately. I appreciate this kind of passive aggressive music, mixing pop rock habits with heavier interpretations, a “dynamic between what is gentle and what is crushing” as they say, but on the long run it does not seem to operate anymore, maybe too much repetitive or at least too easy to fore-hear. It’s not a question of preferring one to the other because Houston and TLAT functions on the same patterns. Indeed, the voice, the guitar sound, the mixing, the rhythmic tricks or the moods flowing from the songs, the two bands are all alike. I must admit that the rest of the review would only be repetition so check the review for Houston here and apply these lines to The Life and Times.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not lazy here, only realistic about my likes and dislikes. I cannot praise for the pleasure of the praise without being fully conscious and honest about it.

-Angus ‘Avril’ Anderson.

Angus is being blasé here because he likes this ep but he has difficulties being as enthusiastic as anyone at Only Angels, except when it comes down to Lavigne but that’s another story. Anyway, ‘Raisin’ in the sun’ could be a hit if we lived in a better world, a world in which people would like melancholy. Its chorus staccato riff is full of energy and Epley’s delivery is delightful. It might please some Deftones fans… When the tempo is slower, melancholy tends to turn into appealing resigned dirge that remind me of Pedro The Lion for example (‘Houdini’, ‘the flat end of the earth’, ‘high scores’). Life and Times debut ep is a fine release on the part of 54°40 or Fight!.

-Blacklisted ‘Terminator’ Igor

/nov 1st 2003/