Synapse Lens is the solo project of former Limerent Dance Machine vocalist, Joseph Moore and recently, he put out his first solo single, Laughing and Whitewater (Reach for the Gun.) Moore is aiming to get a physical release out for the single and also wants to have a full-length out by late December. So if you like what you hear, stay tuned and you might get a surprise come December.
Synapse Lens has a very easy to identify dream-pop/shoegaze/indie-rock (maybe not so easy to identify) sound that utilises lots of nicely textured rhythm and lead guitar. Although the guitar isn’t balls to the wall loud in the same way that might remind you of My Bloody Valentine, it still has a consistent presence about it.
The lead single, Laughing, is a nicely mixed little number that works well enough, but does feel as if something is missing from it. I think it could be that I think there should be a more driving beat behind it – The guitars are very forward in this track and the drums feel really quiet when compared to the vocals and guitar here. The bass still sounds rather thick, but could be brought forward a little bit.
Oddly enough, the drums feel much more present (sometimes) in the second track Whitewater and although they’re relatively simple, I’m still very much aware of them. Mentioning the drums over the guitar, does feel counter-productive, since there are some great and creative uses of the guitar here and on Laughing. Like the really chunky guitar you hear playing in the background at times – The tone sounds quite crazy in these parts and that’s cool, it breaks up the already pleasant and varied guitar tones.
It’s nice to see that Synapse Lens is using these little subtleties sparingly – The chimes (?) during the intro of Laughing, are a genuinely sweet little touch that I really appreciated. Not so subtle, the heavily effected outro of Whitewater is also great fun to listen to and can, sometimes, feel quite intense. Although I do think some more drum work could really build up these tracks and give them that extra bit of energy.
In terms of the vocals here, I think they suit the music well enough; they don’t seem to be particularly extraordinary, but the vocals do the job just fine. On Whitewater, you can hear Moore pushing his vocals that little bit further, especially on the ‘Reach for the gun!’ lyric, which is marvellous – I’d be interested to see more of that in the future, especially since he seems to have all the guitar work down to a well-rounded tee.
I enjoyed Synapse Lens’ Laughing and Whitewater, both tracks are strong, although could be made stronger with some remarkable drums at the front with the rest of the instrumentation. The guitar work and nuances from little bits and bobs on the tracks make these tracks worth listening to several times, loudly, with headphones, just so you can take in all of that texture and such.
If you liked what you heard, keep an eye out for a full-length release at the end of December.