Those that know the US act, Strap On Halo, will know of their singer, Layla Reyna and if you don’t then you are in for something a bit special. After relocating to Seattle and finding Strap On Halo on a hiatus, Reyna created Licorice Chamber for herself and in doing so, released the EP, “The Taste Of Falling“. This is a project that she not only does the vocals for, but apart from the guitar work, impressively, everything else is her including writing the music. Four of the five tracks, feature Michel Rowland of New Zealand bands Disjecta Membra and Dreams Are Like Water on guitar and as you will find out, he was not the only guest.
If “As The World Breathes” is any indication of what this album is going to be like, then this is going to be a treat. A mixture of electronic beats, melancholy guitar, and Layla’s vocals just flowing seamlessly into your ears. What catches my attention is the heavy down notes of piano and guitar. The beautiful, “This Love Is Dark” is mesmerizing and this it the Codename:Lola remix. Codename:Lola is the project for UK artist Lee Meadows. Full of lament and longing of wanting a little bit longer. The synths are just wonderful, along with the jangle of guitar make it a truly haunting number that gets under your skin.
The sliding notes of the guitar again are spine tingling in “Just Like The Horror Movies” as Rowland out does himself. Reyna makes horror movies so far appealing with those sensual vocals, luring you into a gorgeous nightmare. “It’s An Illusion” just floats and while it has a Siouxsie Sioux vibe, it is definitely all Reyna. New Zealander, Blair Wotton (Columns Of Sand, Froithead, The Flickering) provides the fuzzing guitar that fits in perfectly with the electronics. The final track is the original version of “This Love Is Dark” which is far more stripped back than the remix yet it does not detract as you hear all the nuances that make up this shadowy fantasy.
There is something inextricably deep and sensuous about “The Taste Of Falling“. It could be the composition or the beautiful singing. Maybe the guitar work that harkens back to albums like Pornography that give you goosebumps. Whatever it is, Licorice Chamber has it in spades. There is a palpable texture of velvet and satin to lay your fevered brain and rest as the quality of the recording, mixing and mastering is perfect. Just for good measure, it was mastered by Gordon Young of Children On Stun fame. This is a cracker of an EP and I am left craving more………..