Gigantic Disappointment is the debut release from Lande Hekt (Muncie Girls) recorded in Australia with Ben David (The Hard Aches). This EP sees Lande’s already accomplished song writing and composition tested and gives an opportunity for flexing her musical muscles by playing every instrument within the process.
From the opening moments it is clear that this release has a sense of intimacy, it almost feels like a privilege as a listener that these thoughts are shared. The guitar line eases in to a vocal that starts with gentle emotion and as the song progresses harmonies and strings amplify the emotion. The balance between the gentle guitar of Owen and a building vocal creates a balanced platform for lyrics which share a clearly painful moment. This is the perfect introduction to a raw honest release. As the vocal fades into the distance the transition into the next track leaves a second to gather thoughts.
With sparse drums and a timeless guitar part ‘The Future’ is another personal tale but instead of the melancholic backing this is a track full of strength. Lyrically there is a sense of developing self-improvement and this struggle is diarised perfectly. Musically the drums drive everything from behind allowing guitar and bass parts to interact and share focus creating clear verse and chorus musicianship without ever sounding cliché, this may be the clever selection of a musical breakdown and a guitar solo straight out of melodic hardcore. As the harmonies layer in to gang vocals there is a moment of motivation which is cruelly taken away with an isolating closing line, this is just one of many clever pieces of clever wordplay and the first example of LH dictating the listeners emotion.
With another almost jittery transition ‘Aeroplane’ is a clever piece of power pop individualised with a grubby bass line which combines with sparse drumming to perfectly counter the sunshine guitars. Once more honest lyrics pass effortlessly between view points and stories to give a very rounded sense of events. As the final lyrical points are gently made with the help of harmonies with a haunting sense of sweetness, whistles take over and leave this song on a positive note. This is the song where the Hard Aches production is most noticeable, the wall of drums and fuzzy guitars will sound excellent live. Lande also possesses a similar lyrical skill allowing for songs that are equally thought provoking and toe tapping.
As the fuzz runs through your ears ‘Carpet’ uses an isolated guitar and vocal to plant a metaphor for an open exploration of personal battles, which gets deeper both musically and lyrically with the development of each line. With the development comes an ever building wall of instrumentation the drums take on a softer edge and allow for a rolling bass line and guitar parts caked in distortion to build in a very natural way. There are two moments where these build into cleverly contained walls of noise and each time they drop off to emphasise particular points. Lyrically, this is a relatively sparse track but it is a great example of sticking to the most important points even if they have to be repeated. This is made to be played live, there is a feeling of empowerment which will be echoed by an entire room singing along.
The eighties drum intro to ‘Everything Ends’ is just one of the subtleties within this EP that people will fall in love with, this launches a song that has a timeless quality in its musicianship. The angular guitars combine eighties indie with modern power pop, there is a building punk undertone which eventually ends the track with a sudden jolt. This is also reflected in the vocals which develop in strength throughout from a tight harmony they develop cracks of anger before ending with emotive gravel.
After the most abrupt ending the delicate guitar of ‘Letter’ offers the closest sound to a traditional solo record, the subtle musicianship creates a subtle difference to the emotion on display. This quieter number feels a bit like you are making progress through these stories and it again creates a aural bond to this EP the fact this has taken six songs almost feels like the reward for being a good listener. The lyrics themselves are close to conversational and this cleverly creates understanding.
This is an EP that would end on a positive if it was in any way predictable as the song-writing throughout has suggested this is not an EP that follows formula with the closer ‘Gigantic Disappointment’. Lyrically this walks the tightrope between negativity and positivity, the self-depreciating wordplay is somewhat inspiring with double meanings and a permanent sense of striving for better. Musically this is a hugely impressive example of complicated composition, every single note combines with another instrument and as these build the inspirational ending is guaranteed.
This EP is not exempt from a final surprise and just as this final song has picked up a head of steam it ends, leaving one thing to do; start again at track one.