Beginning as a writing duo with bassist Deborah O’Brien and guitarist Kevin O’Byrne in 2011, The Dark Lanes completed their lineup in the summer of 2013 with the recruitment of drummer, Josh Darby. The Dublin based band are a progressive rock act, whose material harbours a nice little penchant for the theatrical. Debut EP, See Behind the Beam, is a five track odyssey of mesmerising music that is captivating from start to finish.
Things get off to a dramatic commencement with “Caught in the Headlights.” We’re treated to a hypnotic musical intro that has an otherworldly air about it. O’Brien soon cuts in with vocals that are crisp and clear, before being joined by O’Byrne for a duet in the chorus. Their voices meld together well, making for a haunting listening experience. A cool, relaxing instrumental respite briefly takes over just after the two and a half minute mark before building back to the chorus and a marvellous, distorted guitar outro.
“Unsaid” takes off with a foreboding drumbeat and riff, leading into more brisk vocals. Both singers really exhibit amazing talent here, complementing each other perfectly again, particularly during the chorus. The piece takes a more mellow turn halfway through with a riveting guitar solo, ahead of a return to the more weighty, austere nature of the beginning.
Blasting into a fast paced, head-banging riff, “Shock” commences in truly awesome style. O’Brien and O’Byrne deliver an enthralling melody, while menacing guitars rumble in the background. The chorus is chilling, creating an ominous atmosphere. The whole thing has quite a math rock-esque quality about it that works wonderfully.
A somber intro starts “Glitter” with a dissonant sound that’s light on the ears but heavy in substance. O’Brien’s lingering vocals resonate in a manner that’s soft yet severe. The chorus sounds almost choir like with a drastic sort of chanting effect. There’s fine bass work displayed in the middle, eventually merging with a complex and rousing turn on the guitar. The track climaxes with a musical outro that builds spectacularly.
“The Rocker” is more technical sounding that its predecessors. O’Byrne lets loose some magnificently punky vocals in the verse, that carry an in your face, rebelliousness with them. It creates a great attitude, with an unapologetic declaration of I am who I am, so deal with it. With energetic riffs and a frantic finish, the entire track is relentless, serving as a fitting finale for the EP.
In See Behind the Beam, The Dark Lanes have crafted a dark and epic musical adventure for listeners to embark upon. Their work here showcases absorbing instrumentation amid stunning vocals, that are swelling with depth and emotion. These guys are certainly off to a promising start. I highly recommend checking them out.