All ye lo-fi heads rejoice. Even with the advent of digital technology and much improved recording processes, there are bands who embrace the asthetics of reel-to-reels and the fuzzy goodness of vintage. Sciflyer is one of those groups, and although they still plan on someday recording a studio album, they've embraced their current DIY status and have a couple releases under their belt. Their self-titled debut EP of 6 tracks was recorded on a 1972 4-track, while this newest EP/single makes the step up to an early 80's 8-track.
Musically, the group mixes a bit of noise-pop, shoegazer, and space rock for something that falls somewhere between Swervedriver and Duster's early album Stratosphere. At only 3 tracks and just over 15 minutes long, this release picks up where their debut left off, opening with the track "Slowfire," which moves back and forth from trippy psychedelic pop to walls of guitar noise. Clocking in at over 7 minutes, it's "Studio Audience" that finds the group at their best. Like some of the better space rock out there, it walks that fine line of being hypnotic without becoming boring, and the low quality of the recording actually adds little inconsistencies that give the track another layer.
If the middle track worked well in the lo-fi setting, it's the closing track of "Powerline" that brings out the weaknesses. A cover of a Husker Du track, the quick percussion simply becomes distractingly muddy, and the fast pace of everything else gives the track an unfortunately tinny sound. In the end, the group definitely has some potential, and the short release is great when the inherent qualities of old tape recording aren't brought to the forefront. Lo-fi purists will revel in this disc (and especially the group's EP, which also works the recording equipment to their advantage most of the time), but those hoping for the clean wooziness of My Bloody Valentine and others may find the ever present warm tape hiss and other qualities of the recording distracting.