Lansdale punk band L.M.I. just released a gritty EP to follow up last year’s full length album, Sleepwalker. L.M.I. III further defines the band’s sound, which is characterized by imposing metal riffs and a stoner vibe on top of a largely punk aesthetic. The result of this concoction is songs that move with energy and intensity, but also step back into bleak states that are driven by dissonant guitar tones and gloomy vocal takes.
“Shallow Depths” starts off L.M.I. III abruptly, and showcases how the band emphatically mixes steadfast sections with more melancholy ones. Vocalist/guitarist Will Hinkle plays distorted, harsh riffs while delivering tough, scratchy shouts, and the second half of the song introduces their more experimental nature. In a jarring and anxiety-inducing bridge, Brando Racik’s bass rumbles deeply while Kevin Marcinek keeps everything together on the drums, and guitars roll in to add more uneasiness to the mix. While the band delves into the odd, eventually the song loops back around to end with its powerful, steadfast hook. L.M.I. writes great straightforward punk/metal songs, and adding in tinges of stoner rock or even elements of goth make a lot of their music that much more dynamic. For example, “Debt” has yelling and brutal riffs, notably Hinkle shouts “looking forward to lift the burden, we tend to forget the present,” but it smoothly slides into a darker, more mystic feel with some unconventional vocal takes.
The EP only gets more revealing from there. “No Casket” feels atmospheric, while “Edge Of Time” further mashes up their influences and bubbles with fervor and creativity. The band subtly speeds through numerous styles, and their quick changes between airy, uncluttered sections and heavy, burdensome ones shows their affinity for creating a distinct punk sound. Following suit, the last track, “Follow The Mirror” contains a soft, delicate verse full of tangling riffs, while its raging, instrumental chorus is full of thick guitar riffs that demand attention.
Overall, L.M.I. keep making progress and defining their sound with each release. L.M.I. III leads with grit, dark tones, and distortion, but the ghostly atmosphere that is woven throughout adds a deeper layer to their punk nature. Their lyrics often revolve around personal strife, and the mix between eeriness and aggression helps convey those feelings and make the EP a hypnotizing listen.
Some upcoming L.M.I. shows:
Mothers Bar in Easton on 10/17
Photo by Jay Breslin.