Everyone is in process, moving from place to place. Where is the end? How do we know when we have reached something worth lingering at? The world places infinite demands on our attention, and we have to make a choice as to what is valuable. With music, this question is even more pronounced. An album can blow your mind on first listen, only to bore you a week later. Conversely, it may take dozens of listens to finally come to enjoy an album, after which it will become part of your musical itinerary forever. We listen as detectives, to solve the mystery of value. Music, in these times, is about a process of discovery, investigation and revelation. Trawling through cornucopias of sound is one of the great joys in the world.
Among the bric-a-brac, Laverne released a demo. Though only three songs long, it demands attention. It opens with “Death Metal Used to Be My Friend,” a pleading promise of honesty – “Hey now darling / Don’t you know it’s not a masquerade?” – which it doesn’t disappoint in fulfilling. These songs are well-rehearsed, well-constructed and display all the best features of their influences. “Death Metal” aches with nostalgia for a lost youth, and pining for lost friends and a simpler time, before the “city-dwelling rats” infested everything. a demo’s second song, “Blur,” blasts into a scathing critique of “material ways,” featuring firey instrumentation that enhances evident fury and confusion. “The Seagull,” the final track of this release, cools off into a sombre and regretful tune, treading over and over into those all-too-familiar moments in which we “fuck it up. . . . fuck it up again.” Throughout a demo, this trio of musicians that is Laverne shows adeptness, seamlessly moving through styles and tempos to evoke an emotional variety that would be impressive by a group with 10 years’ experience. As this is Laverne’s first musical enterprise, it can only be considered remarkable.
As each song trails away, one hopes it is only a brief interlude, that the music will return, renewed and revitalized. It is not to be. We are left guessing. Three songs is hardly anything. a demo may have been an accident, or it may be the start of something brilliant, a musical project that will happily keep us listening and searching, hoping to understand the profane power it possesses.