The Lungs - Puddlesplasher EP
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: March 31, 2014
The Lungs have some large shoes to fill. With two members originating from underground emo cult-hit Late Night Beers, The Lungs face the task of separating themselves from bands past while simultaneously carrying on a legacy and expanding upon fans’ expectations. Luckily, with their debut EP Puddlesplasher, all concerns are thrown out the window upon first hearing the memorable guitar-work of opener “Crooked Lines”.
Picking up where Late Night Beers left off, the track bleeds fuzz and distortion until bursting into the “1-2-3-4” punk jam you weren’t expecting, but in the best possible way. Tyler Borrman’s instantly recognizable, Morrissey-esque vocal delivery rounds out the raw musicianship, creating a perfect balance as Borrman sings, “Crowded rooms make crooked lines”. Being a four-song EP, there is little-to-no room for filler, and “Crooked Lines” minds that rule well, digging its hooks into you and refusing to let go. This segues into the EP’s existential middle-tracks, “Wet Leaves” and “Small”. Here, the band begins to experiment with their formula, to varying degrees of success.
“Small” makes strong use of Puddlesplasher’s unsung hero: drummer Dylan Morris. As Morris shows the kit no mercy, Borrman sings “Take a look at the sky/Does it make you feel small?” overtop another slightly more straightforward indie-punk jam, wielding fantastic results. Meanwhile, near-instrumental centerpiece “Wet Leaves” seems to be the only song to bog down Puddlesplasher, wandering without direction for almost four minutes before the band picks up pace. Luckily, they deliver within that last minute, pulling the listener back in for one final statement.
At this point, if there are any loose ends remaining, semi title track “Burgundy/Puddlesplasher” is the knot that ties it all together. Perhaps sounding most like Late Night Beers (at first), quick-paced distorted guitars open before defaulting to the smoother sounds of Borrman’s unique singing. Once the drums kick in, the band goes into high gear straight through Puddlesplasher’s closing experimental moments. A stronger instrumental than found in “Wet Leaves,” the last few minutes feel like an integral close to The Lungs’ first chapter in what will hopefully prove to be a long, successful career.
Puddlesplasher is dark, spacey and bold, all in one fell swoop. Even when, sonically speaking, things occasionally go awry, there is a certain admiration that comes with the originality put forward by such a young group of musicians. In this sense, Puddlesplasher is a wild success, and bound to put as much sentimental value behind the end of my first year of college as Late Night Beers put behind the beginning.