Review Summary: Despite some promise, this debut mostly comes off as rehashed and boring.
Upon first listen to Lockett Pundt’s (under the name of Lotus Plaza) debut full-length, The Floodlight Collective
, I had to double-check my iPod to be certain I wasn’t listening to Deerhunter. Sure, there’s bound to be some similarities between the two projects, especially since Pundt’s main claim to fame is his role as guitarist for that Atlanta-based quintet, but The Floodlight Collective
is a bit too
derivative of what proceeded it. The Floodlight Collective
features every spare essential that made Microcastle
such a remarkable listen: dreamy, wistful vocals, sedative instrumentation, songwriting that’s overly imbedded to psychedelia of the 60s (but without shedding all
pop sensibility), and blurry production. It’s enough to call plagiarism.
Despite the similarities, there’s actually a few brief moments in The Floodlight Collective
where Pundt one-ups the band he derivates from, but there’s unfortunately as many that are boring enough to negate any previous triumph. “Sunday Night” implants electronica into Pundt’s/Deerhunter’s sound, managing to successfully ground Pundt’s sometimes-unendurable dreamy/psychedelic act. This act doesn’t stay grounded for long, and it’s at its most unendurable and insufferable throughout the seven-minute “Antoine”, which is so uneventful and monotonous that it never seems to end. Other main offenders include “These Years” and “Whiteout”, each of which are so light and preoccupied that they’re instantly forgettable, and these tracks certainly aren’t benefited from Pundt’s vocals. He might be a component singer, but I can’t really tell: he irritably layers his vocals with countless effects, thus losing all coherence and, most importantly, losing all feeling.
“Sunday Night” and “What Grows?”, being an acoustic-led pop-rock track that’s also the sole catchy and memorable track on The Floodlight Collective
, can’t save a record destined for obscurity. Maybe someday, when Deerhunter’s huge and racking up Modern Rock radio hits, we’ll all rediscover this record. Hopefully, if that doubtful occurrence ever ensues, we’ll leave this blemish where it belongs: in the past.