Little Dirt: the land and the feet down before us

Little Dirt
the land and the feet down before us

German funnyman Friedrich Nietzsche's law of Eternal Return stipulates that time is infinite while events are not, which means that everything will happen again and again, into infinity. It's a daunting concept to grasp for everyone except adherents of guitar-based rock music, an art form roughly half a century old that spent the first half of its life developing its vocabulary and the second saying the same things in different ways. So it's challenging now for young bands whose mission is to forge an original sound--Little Dirt among them. This local four-piece enters the indie-rock fray with their debut EP the land and the feet down before us. It's composed of five song sketches that, for the most part, ride loping drums and intertwined guitar and keyboards that frequently cede ground to Zac Stanley's bursts of buzz-fire electric fretwork.

The band bio insists they are better served by "aural descriptions" rather than by comparison (damn, just when I was about to mention Neil Young, and Westerberg, and early-'80s Athens, Georgia), so suffice it to say that there are gems here, such as "Sell Yourself on Yourself," which combines Stanley's reedy but suitable vocals in fleeting harmony with keyboardist Kim Carolin--a glimpse of broader textures that might be exploited to advantage in the future. Little Dirt (calling Dr. Namechange, stat) has emerged, after little more than a year together, with a document of the gestational stages of a potentially formidable enterprise. They pay a lot of attention to structure--the bustling arrangement of the title track, and the sonic shifts in the skip-along "Old Howl and Lou" range from intimate mid-tempo verses to a catchy rising chorus. The ambition evident in these home-recorded tracks seems to indicate they wouldn't be averse to moving beyond low-fi status and tackling something grander. Based on the evidence here, they might well be capable of it.

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