Landlordland is a local Denver foursome that formed in 2002. Darren Dunn (guitar, vocals), Dan Zmolek (drums), Syles Cooley (keyboard), and Rich Sandoval (bass) have been kicking around the music scene for many years. You might recognize some of those names from such notable local acts as Dressy Bessy, Von Hemmling, and Pillory Victrola. Now, together as one, they have released Dragging Through the Weather.
Isn’t it good to find local bands that are fun to listen to? I think so. Drawing obvious comparisons to the likes of Sonic Youth and Pavement, you can point the finger mainly at the gritty guitar work of Darren, who’s raw and yelping style of singing sets the mood for much of the album. Many of Dragging’s lyrical subjects are derived from what the band considers to be the more distasteful aspects of our modern world, as with “Spiritbreake,” which talks about cars, cell phones, and making money.
What really sets off the music of Landlordland for me is the keyboards of Syles Cooley. It’s his sounds and arrangements that keeps Landlordland from sounding like many of the other lo-fi bands running around, providing contrast to the recording quality and the other instrumentation of the band while still complimenting it.
In the end, Landlordland has created an album that is consistent from start to finish. They are local and you have to root for the home team. It’s just easier when they are a quality act.