Lights Out Asia
Tanks And Recognizers


5.0
classic

Review

by FourSquare20 USER (11 Reviews)
December 1st, 2010 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lights Out Asia's masterpiece.

Lights Out Asia was first described to me as a blend of ambient electronica and post rock. This description is apt, but leaves something to be desired when attached to a band that so flawlessly executes what it sets out to do. On Tanks And Recognizers, Lights Out Asia have created their most enjoyable album. Avoiding some of the awkward moments found on their debut Garmonia, Lights Out Asia combine the electronic shoegaze textures of Ulrich Schnauss with a sense of layering and dynamics taken directly from the proverbial post rock playbook. What you get out of this combination is a smooth mixture of serene electronic beats, spacey guitars, and the occasional vocal spot. While this mixture of genres is typically hit or miss, Lights Out Asia has managed to put forth a unique album that hits again and again.

Tanks And Recognizers opens with the absolutely stunning "Roy". This track is a fantastic representation of Lights Out Asia's sound, full to the brim with echoing guitars, atmospheric synthesizer work, and yearning vocals. The second half of "Roy" is the real clincher however, as vocalist Chris Schafer appears to add an extra bit of emotion to the nostalgic catharsis already present. "Roy" sets the stage quite well for the remainder of Tanks And Recognizers, inducing an optimistic yet melancholy atmosphere that hovers over all of the remaining songs. For all of Lights Out Asia’s use of electronics, their tracks feel intensely organic and emotionally charged. No track shows this better than the sublime "March Against The Savages". Beginning with a trill of reverberating synthesizer notes, "March Against The Savages" builds layer upon layer of soothing noise, peaceful guitar melodies, and warm synthesizer lines. After collecting a fair amount of momentum, the heavily delayed guitars break loose from their confines, ringing out alongside wails from Chris Schafer. This is post rock at its most poignant. Lights Out Asia maintain this high level of quality for the four remaining songs, slowly winding down until we are eventually brought to the nearly 11 minute finale "Spiti Elefas".

The atmosphere and overall attitude of this album can only be described as soothing. The drifting sameness found here does not detract from the listening experience, but rather accentuates the light airiness of the music presented so elegantly by Lights Out Asia. It’s quite easy to put this album on and just drift off into thought, with no real consideration for what song is playing. This is not to say that these tracks are worthless when focused on. The production on this album certainly makes for rewarding headphone listening, as each song is full of rich sound effects and little sonic treats buried deep in the mix.

One complaint that could be leveled at this album is its homogeneous nature. I will not refute this claim, as all of the tracks (excluding the beatless Drift/Fade) are built from the same elements. The truth is, Lights Out Asia could have made an attempt to change up their song structures on this album. However, it is in this sameness that Lights Out Asia thrives. Instead of trying to constantly keep you on your toes, Lights Out Asia asks you to mellow yourself out and let your mind slow down for a little while. Instead of making uniformity a liability, Lights Out Asia revel in using the same structure in almost every song. While you know what is coming, that doesn’t make it any worse when it arrives. By making this overarching similarity an asset, Lights Out Asia has crafted a superb album that only gets better with repeated listens.



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3.9
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robin EMERITUS (4.5)
Central to a discography too immaculate to dislike....


Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
December 1st 2010


20520 Comments


I always get mixed feelings when listening to this... Eyes Like Brontide I listen to on a more regular basis, but this one can be really striking sometimes. It's weird cause I usually hate music when it's this homogenous, like you say, but I don't know what it is really...

superb review. you do a wonderful job at describing the music. pos. only thing I would suggest is that you add quotes around song titles and italicize the album title, it makes it prettier.

if you don't know how to italicize, put [i] on one side, and [/ i] on the other, but without the space.

Digging: Pharmakon - Bestial Burden

Mordecai.
December 1st 2010


8279 Comments


band rules

AnotherBrick
December 1st 2010


9771 Comments


yes sir they do

NeutralThunder12
December 1st 2010


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

four square is an amazing song, amazing

rest of the album is pretty nice,, sometimes kinda boring

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2010


23909 Comments


I haven't heard this yet, but their new album was such a let down.

Good thing Eyes Like Brontide the best shit evaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

FourSquare20
December 1st 2010


320 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the tips man, I appreciate it. It's funny to me that Eyes Like Brontide gets more love around here than In The Days Of Jupiter or Tanks And Recognizers.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2010


15743 Comments


well days of jupiter is kind of blah compared to the other two

but roy is probably their best song

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

FourSquare20
December 1st 2010


320 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Roy is pretty perfect. But I have to say, I enjoyed Days more than Eyes.

FourSquare20
December 1st 2010


320 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Roy is pretty perfect. But I have to say, I enjoyed Days more than Eyes.

couldwinarabbit
December 2nd 2010


6996 Comments


band is so good.

FourSquare20
December 2nd 2010


320 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I agree. This is one of my all time favorite albums.

crazyblinddude
December 2nd 2010


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. I love this album. Eyes Like Brontide is a little higher for me, but this is still phenomenal.

FourSquare20
December 2nd 2010


320 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hmm. Maybe I need to give Eyes another good listen. It's been a while, seeing as when I want to listen to Lights Out Asia I go straight for this album.

Skimaskcheck
December 3rd 2010


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

think i like Eyes more, but this is still incredible!

and the new one is underated i think

FourSquare20
December 3rd 2010


320 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So I have may have spoken too soon. Just listened to Eyes and it was much, much better than I remember it being. Don't know if it surpasses Tanks, but it is most definitely better than Days (although that album is underrated).



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