The debut EP from Michigan indie rockers, Comlag, is a perfect display of the beauty in breaking down. With the opening lyrics of "Minds Regress" vocalist Eric Grinwis exclaims "let fall away, the damage of decay", and with this you take immediate comfort in his direction and immerse yourself into his beautiful falsetto. The song's driving beat and insistent piano verses are beautifully offset by the string-laden choruses and soothing mandolin. The ethereal opening of "Verbal" draws the listener in with a Pink Floyd-esque intro, while coalescing into a beautiful rocker delivered by the group's other lead vocalist, Pat Lewis. Where this song impresses by strength, the following track "Lies" takes hold by finesse. A beautiful arpeggiated acoustic guitar track drives through the heart of the song, built up layer by layer until it reaches its breaking point and falls off to a four part a cappella harmony. "Melody Hope", the most straight-forward song on the EP, features both lead singers trading off from verse to chorus until it erupts. Saving the best for last, "Second Thoughts" shows a band in full control of all its elements, and knowing exactly how to use them. The first half is a beautiful piece about loss and the struggle to fight or accept it, but the true beauty in the song comes with the breakdown. Dropping down to essentially drums and strings, drummer Wayne Hacker provides the backbone for backup vocalist Chad Lawie as he whispers "Get out those feelings ... I'd believe in anything that you would say".
"The Damage of Decay" is dripping with lyrical references of the pain of human relationships from friends to lovers in its many forms, taking you through a full circle of emotions. On this disc Comlag trades in sheer virtuosity for powerful arrangements, resulting in beautifully sweeping soundscapes. They know how to use what they have and hold a firm grip on one of the most important things of all: restraint. The bottom line is that for a band that seems to subscribe to the aesthetic that "the devil is in the details", it works in their favor on this disc that they dont have many weaknesses.
For MP3's visit http://www.myspace.com/comlag