New York City’s Ifwhen features a former member of the band All Natural Lemon & Lime Flavors. Ifwhen is decidedly easier to fit on a marquee. The band’s own description of its sound as experimental/progressive/shoegaze is fitting. Somewhere between lush instrumentation and experimental noise lies the rather jarring but intriguing sound of Ifwhen.
“Interference” starts immediately, blaring through your speakers with the kind of layered guitarwork and flowing rhythm that made bands like My Bloody Valentine so damn popular. But don’t think this is going to be another shoegaze band, because keyboard loops come in when the vocals come in, and the song changes direction on a dime with an assortment of synthesized sounds and loops. The vocals are low in the mix and mostly indistinguishable, but they end up sounding almost soothing compared to the music, and they’re hardly the focus here. The real focus is on the mix of instrumentation – layers of guitars, keyboards, percussion, and samples.
While “Interference” and the band’s other downloadable songs can be a bit overwhelming at times, there’s something very interesting here. Even though the changes in this song are jarring, the overall effect is one of intrinsic mixing and careful forethought. How three people can make so much noise is the first question that comes to mind, and I wonder how it would reproduce in a live setting.