I wasn't until I reached the final track on Your Anchor
, the ninth release from Lackthereof, a.k.a. Menomena's Danny Seim, that I started to notice how much Seim's music reminds me of the National ("one of the few bands in the world that I like as human beings as much as I like as musicians" says Seim). Perhaps that's because the closing song is a cover of "Fake Empire," from the National's latest, The Boxer
. Though much of the album recalls (shock of shocks, as my dad would say) a one-man Menomena, it was "Fake Empire" that really brought to attention the deep, melancholy tone of Seim's smoky baritone—sad and knowing and quietly winking much like that of the National's Matt Beringer.
But leaving it at Menomena/National comparisons (David Bazan would be apt, as well, since we're on the topic) would be selling Seim—who plays every single thing on Your Anchor
—short. Lackthereof traverses grounds rockin', experimental, broody, dreamy and exhilarating. And today's cut, "Last November"—an elating slice of pop goodness fuzzed up with plenty of cymbals 'n' snare, heartbeat-thumping bass and an overlying energy that feels something like static electricity—showcases Seim in all his singular glory.
A buzzing organ starts the track and remains subtly humming throughout, but tambourine, hand drum and high hat quickly step in to focus your attention on Seim's primary talent: percussion. His voice melds easily with the beat, the song's melody becoming another stream of rhythm in the song—until the anthemic, cathartic chorus explodes into a wash of shimmering noise and choppy guitar under the words, "Going/ Going/ Going/ Going/ Go-oh-oh-ing." It's infectious, and when it really does go, you'll find yourself hitting repeat...until you get hooked on the hypnotic follow-up, "Ask Permission," that is. A half-assed side project this is not.
Lackthereof plays Thursday, July 17, with Dykeritz and Alan Singley & Pants Machine at Holocene. 9 pm. $6. 21+.
Here Comes Your Fan: Moral Support
Photo: Seim and his loyal compadre, Ms. Geddy Lee, taken by Alicia J. Rose.