Still layering tiers of reverberating guitar and sequencers over live and programmed beats, Los Angeles-based Languis stuns all the way through Other Desert Cities. The EP’s quick breaths of shoegazer beauty and densely populated mashes of melody and noise are halted far too early when the curtain drops after the fifth track. But in its brief duration, Other Desert Cities outdoes 2004’s The Four Walls with first-rate production and perpetually dizzying psyche-pop flare-ups.
A duo since 1998, Languis has added two more members (John Girgus and Stephen Swesey) since founders Marcos Chloca and Alejandro Cohen recorded The Four Walls, released by Plug Research in 2004. The new EP’s opener, “In the Fields Of (Lonely Fences),” celebrates the band’s now fuller presentation with swirling single-note guitar licks and a Manchester tambourine jangle-and-drone pair-up that’s a stone’s throw from the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High.” The amp noise rides a club pulse on this one while far-off vocal harmonies tug at Languis’s affection for Ride‘s Going Blank Again. The same energy rushes through the opening digital chirps and bleary synth chords of “Times Are Changing,” with blasts of guitar and live drums that hint at the track’s towering, trancey outro. Loud, sun-washed, and definitely a deceitful, all-too-brief tease.