In 2010, David and Christine Wolf had to replace the equipment that was stolen when their Chicago house was broken into. They wound up building a home studio, where their band Daylight Robbery recorded their gritty second album, Ecstatic Vision, on a Tascam 38 tape recorder. The album’s lyrics come from people balancing adult responsibilities with playing in a DIY band; rebuilding while sorting out memories and trying not to dwell in the past; asking questions like, “What’s the point?” and “Where do we go from here?” While the lyrics are taking stock, the music pushes forward, vibrant, faster, urgent, with David and Christine both sounding more confident and engaged on the mic. Like their first album, Through the Confusion, Ecstatic Vision has ten songs, but it’s five minutes shorter, wrapping up after twenty-eight minutes with the choppy, jolting “Grassroots,” one of the few new songs that hasn’t jettisoned the band’s new wave influence for spacious, propulsive Australian garage like Radio Birdman or Eddy Current Suppression Ring. It’s not that Daylight Robbery sound like a different band, it’s that they’ve avoided the “same thing, not as exciting” sophomore trap by putting out a record that is rawer and punker, the live-to-tape closeness (and muffled drums) making it easy to mistake for the lost demos of some awesome L.A. by way of Australia band, circa 1979. A retooled dynamic compensates for the downgrade in fidelity. In this claustrophobic recording, the guitar parts have a stronger delineation between riffs and leads, and the band creates the signature space between David’s dark, desert/surf leads and the counting-trees-flying-by-on-the-highway momentum of Christine’s bass and Jeff’s drums by minimizing overdubs. If Confusion was the sound of running down the middle of a dark street, trying to gauge the closeness of your pursuer’s footsteps over the pounding of your heart, Vision is peeking out of a gangway, panting, knife pulled, hoping that the person chasing you runs past. Keep fighting, Daylight Robbery. –CT Terry
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