A Record Review of Rise by Lane Change by Dean “Twitch” W.
Lane Change is a 4-piece Phoenix quartet and what immediately jumped out at me were the vocals. It’s not often that you encounter male/female dual vocals in a pop/rock genre and although they have unique and separate tones, Myles Vann and bass player Lizzie Shafer’s vocals work well for their fusion of upbeat pop, funk, soul, R&B, and rock. Lane Change is: Myles Vann (Vocals), Jake Galambos (Guitars), Lizzie Shafer (Bass and Vocals) and Cameron Holladay (Drums).
The ‘Rise” EP opens with the Southern rock sound of “The Rich Get Richer” a cut that has a funky, southern rock feel. Myles Vann’s vocals, while strong, clear and prominent; give off “the choir boy” vibe and for the lyrics “Get angry, get loud. Get crazy, get proud. Don’t take this sitting down” it seems like a bit of an awkward juxtaposition. Kind of like Justin Bieber singing Slayer’s ‘Exile’, to paint a picture. The song has a hooky breakdown, is bass driven and is well done.
The second track by Lane Change is “Club 27” is an ode to the Forever 27 club (musicians who died at the age of 27: Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, Brian Jones, etc.). A blues/rock ditty with a nice steady groove. Again, I just can’t get over the darker lyrics with vocals that sound like they were sung with a smile on their faces. They seem to compose good feeling, fun songs and then apply darker lyrics. Musically, this song made me want to join the 27 club (alas, I surpassed the age requirement over 2 decades ago), not lament their loss.
“Floodwater” kicks off with an a capella piece that builds up to a tight set of catchy, melodic riffs, a bluesy rhythm section groove and tight vocals. Takes me back to early 70’s rock. Here the lyrics match the feel of the song.
The closer by Lane Chane, “We Won’t Back Down” has a different sound that blends together the various tracks on the disc. The slow funk bass line meanders through the tune while the guitars bring a funk/ska/reggae groove to the song. I dig the guitar solo too (soapbox time: where have all the guitar solos gone, in music lately??).
Lane Change is a talented, solid band with 2 strong vocalists and ‘Rise” is a well-done EP. In my humble opinion, they should lyrically “change lanes” from a ‘Licking Cream’ by Sevendust (with Skin from Skunk Anansie) to a B-52’s ‘Love Shack” type lyrical philosophy (to use a male female dual vocal reference). Or vice versa. Either way, I believe that lyrical meaning that matches the feel of the music, would take Lane Change into the Fast Lane.