Premiere: LVL UP - Extra Worlds 7” Stream
It is my most sincere pleasure to announce the exclusive stream of LVL UP's hotly anticipated new 7” Extra Worlds right here on Lewis and his Blog. Perhaps the most hyped band in the thoroughly saturated SUNY Purchase indie rock scene, LVL UP has been one of my favorite young bands ever since they released their 2011 debut LP SPACE BROTHERS on Evil Weevil Records. In the two years since, the members of this four piece have maintained a hectic touring schedule in addition to fulfilling the obligations of their various side projects. In particular, Nick Corbo has achieved notable Kickstarter success with his “Totally Ruined Circuits” guitar pedals. Likewise, Dave Benton released a terrific full length last year with his other band Spook Houses, along with managing Double Double Whammy Records, the label that will release the new LVL UP 7” on April 6th.
Although only a modest release in length, Extra Worlds feels like a culmination of all the work that this band has put forth in the past few years. For a group that has often received the “slacker” epithet, their attention to detail on this 7” is remarkable. Gone are the nonessential interludes and tossed-off genre experiments that occasionally dragged down SPACE BROTHERS. With six tracks in just over 10 minutes, the songs on Extra Worlds are just as brief as many of those on the album’s frenetic predecessor, but here the brevity feels deliberate. LVL UP have, in their uniquely professional way, refined guitar rock to its purest essence.
To single out a highlight from among these cuts would be to miss the point of this release; Extra Worlds works best as a unit — a glorious 10-minute rush of scarcely interrupted guitar euphoria and vocals that do their best to conceal their giddy post-teenage glee but ultimately, adorably fail to hide their innate happiness. The exception is “Totally Ruined,” a Corbo-led track that nails with greater precision the puppy-eyed, uncertain longing that he tapped into on the SPACE BROTHERS' highlight “Nightshade.” Closing track “Fur” begins in similarly sad territory, but ultimately finds warmth and appropriate closure in its wooly, Microphones-reminiscent textures. In sum, Extra Worlds is just dynamic enough to sustain interest without feeling too disjointed for its brief run-time. Though still fresh-faced college undergrads, LVL UP achieve this delicate balance with precision and experiential grace.
Stream Extra Worlds above via Soundcloud, pre-order the 7” on bandcamp, and watch the music video for lead single “Graveyard” below: