It’s become almost a proven fact that putting a husband and wife in an indie rock band is a sure combination for success. Now, take into account that the husband is Mike Reed of the late, great Small Brown Bike. And once you add into that mixture the previous drummer of Small Brown Bike, you’ll have a little project known as LaSalle. Whether you were a fan of Small Brown Bike or not, LaSalle definitely make music able to be appreciated by previous fans and newcomers alike.
Expedition Songs is an album that, while definitely reflects a more indie, subdued side of Reed, still focuses on the rock and post-rock elements that made Small Brown Bike so listenable. The chemistry between these individual artists is undeniable and, when brought together, an amazingly cohesive record is born.
The album begins with one of its strongest tracks, “A Prescription for His Social Life,” a guitar-oriented track with semi-muffled vocals about a man’s obligations (“The one thing he knows is the purpose, his requirement”). The album’s next notable song, “Hurt for Long,” presents the listener with a unique melody and tone changes, while Expedition Songs’ next track, “Other Side of the Night,” is slower and a lot more melancholy than the rest of the album at this point.
Expedition Songs picks back up during “Vanishing Point” with its catchy chorus of “Hey. Do you need some time? Do you wander through your life? Are you leaving out your pride?” and is quickly followed by “Kissinger,” a song that opens with deliberate, aggressive guitar work. Expedition Songs closes with the twang of guitars in “Don’t Call,” an emotional, slow-paced track.
Despite how sad it was to see Small Brown Bike disband, with such a tremendous band with enormous amounts of potential coming from the ashes, it surely helps to ease the pain. With vocals that from start to finish compliment each other and such an unprecedented ability to transcend the genres of indie and rock, LaSalle are, without a doubt, something special.
– Meg Reinecker