Thing of the Day


February 11th 2011.

Now then, those who have been paying particular attention to these Organ pages or the things we send out on the airwaves, can't have failed to notice our previous ravings and drooling over New York’s finest, Extra Life… their previous two albums (Secular Works Extra Life - Ripped Heart EP coverand Made Flesh both claimed the No1 slots of Organ's Albums of the Year...

News is that Extra Life have just announced the release of their new Ripped Heart EP. The EP comes out in the US on April 5th, the band have just announced both US and European dates with Deerhoof and Parenthetical Girls. The digital and limited edition vinyl release will feature remixes by Laurel Halo, Xiu Xiu, Liturgy, and Former Ghosts, and will come out on Extra Life frontman Charlie Looker’s newly launched Last Things Records (as with previous Extra Life recordings, the material will come out on Loaf Recordings over here in Europe, alas only digitally so it seems)

You can listen to the new song and title track Ripped Heart exclusively over on the Consequence of Sound website right now. This is the lead track from their third proper studio release; the recording features four new tracks.

Here’s some press release type words….

”Since 2007 Extra Life have challenged and uplifted the underground music scene with their dark, epic, unclassifiable blend of goth, pop, prog, metal, classical and ancient folk aesthetics. The group was founded by singer Charlie Looker after his departure from influential New York noise-chamber group Zs and his brief stint with the Dirty Projectors. For Extra Life, Looker brought together a quintet of diverse talents from the Northeast avant rock scene: drummer Nick Podgurski, formerly of Yukon; violinist/guitarist/producer Caley Monahon-Ward of Snowblink; saxophonist/keyboardist Travis Laplante of Little Women; and bassist Tony Gedrich of Stats.

Extra Life Extra Life’s 2008 debut Secular Works (Planaria/LOAF) was met with wide critical acclaim both at home and abroad. The band toured twice in the U.S. and then in Europe, performing at festivals including Primavera Sound (Barcelona), Villette Sonique (France), Moers (Germany) and Kilbi (Switzerland) alongside Sonic Youth, Sunn 0))) and Deerhunter. In 2010 Extra Life released their second full-length Made Flesh (LOAF), a concept album about weightlifting, spirituality and death. Earning many new devout fans and a few impassioned detractors, Extra Life toured both the U.S. and Europe again. This was immediately followed by the release of Splayed Flesh (Sockets), an EP of remixes including Justin Broadrick and Tyondai Braxton.

On Ripped Heart, Extra Life continue in their spirit of dramatic intensity and experimentalism, while also exploring their more accessible side.  Amidst the gothic harmonies, lurching rhythms and noise there are infectious melodies, hypnotic repetition, and lush synth textures, making the compositions closer to pop songs than anything Extra Life has made yet. One can still feel the influence of classic crushing New York bands such as Swans and Unsane and composers such as Phillip Glass and Glenn Branca. The new EP however, touches more than ever on the synthetic pop beauty of later Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode.

While Looker’s lyrics still address the eternal themes of love, sex, death and power, on Ripped Heart they leave behind the macroscopic heights of philosophy and occult spirituality and focus more on emotive personal storytelling. The songs are rooted firmly on the plane of human desire. Still with a touch of humour, here Extra Life more than ever speak directly to the heart.

Extra Life live in LondonRipped Heart’s vast sound was captured by modern metal luminary and longtime Extra Life producer Colin Marston (Krallice, Gorguts). In contrast to indie music’s current trend of sonic murkiness and vagary, the EP’s shimmering orchestration cuts through with a decidedly hi-fi aesthetic.

The limited edition 12” of Ripped Heart will be the premier release by Last Things Records, a new vinyl-only label founded by Charlie Looker. Along with purchase of the vinyl, Last Things will offer a free download of four remixes including up-and-coming techno shaman Laurel Halo, as well as kindred spirits Xiu Xiu, Liturgy, and Former Ghosts (featuring Sam Mickens).

With the release of Ripped Heart, Extra Life will begin performing in a new trio incarnation, having parted ways with bassist Gedrich and saxophonist Laplante. In the spirit of refined focus, and in accord with the EP’s more electronic sound, Charlie Looker’s cold analog synth will provide the band’s trademark pummeling low-end. Caley Monahon-Ward, while still wielding his classic piercing violin, will also realize the new material with his own swirling, effects-drenched guitar work. Nick Podgurski’s brutally precise drum assaults continue to propel the band. In this new trio incarnation, Extra Life will embark on a two-week tour of Europe in April 2011, sharing bills with Deerhoof. In July, the band will do a month-long U.S. tour alongside Portland’s Parenthetical Girls.

European dates will be announced soon, for more information go explore the following sites

Meanwhile the previous Organ coverage, a whole load of live reviews, previous album reviews and such is here: Organ archives - Extra Life

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