Language is a new band from Lansing, MI, recently making their live debut (as well as releasing a self-titled EP) alongside The People’s Temple, Racket Ghost and Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts at Mac’s Bar.

Here’s a review of said EP.

On first listen, a few different things come to mind from the self-described “post-art-pop” band. Although I’m not really sure what their stated influences are, I can tell they have a love for ’60s style rock and roll (similar to Lansing band The People’s Temple). Bands I can think of off the top of my head that they share sonic qualities with include The Velvet Underground (for their steady, repetitive rock and rough tones), the Beach Boys (for their harmonies and a pieced together feel somewhere near a similar sound) and Joy Division (for the vocalist’s droning style that actually carries a lot of melody behind it). Sonic Youth comes to mind too.

With all of these varied influences converging at a new point with Language’s music, I can’t say it’s something that’s entirely new in the large scheme of things. For the Michigan music scene, it definitely is. It’s a refreshing sound that I could get used to. Maybe there are other bands beyond Language as well as The People’s Temple who are doing something like this but probably not as exciting or interesting.

A lot of the instrumentation is really cool. “Indian Giver” has a dance-New Wave beat to it. The last song on the EP, “Lake Effect”, has a guitar tone very similar to The People’s Temple song “Sons of Stone”. Kinship indeed. The rhythm section is solid and spot on. It really drives the songs and helps them reach new heights as they progress. The drum fill into the chorus on “Koch Party” pulls you in.

The opener, “Sault Marie”, reminds me of a Joy Division or Velvet Underground song fronted by a singer who is gargling mouthwash. I can’t really understand him (beyond clearly hearing the chorus). Maybe that’s some of its charm. The guitar tone is fluid and trance-like. Good stuff.

They definitely don’t forget how to craft a good pop song among an overall washy mix. Songs like “Sweet Randy” have an overall dreamy tone to them but you can still tell where the verse ends and the chorus begins. It never drifts off into something unintelligible. They know where the songs are supposed to go and end where they naturally should (even if it’s a little abrupt like on the opening track and a couple others too).

Check this band out when you get a chance. They’re a refreshing sound in mid-Michigan that shouldn’t be taken for granted.