Echoing from underneath the shadows of more ominous bands like The Van Pelt and Blonde Redhead, these two ex-members of the aforementioned groups, who call themselves “The Lapse,” create some nice noise-music that beckons to the listener, “put me on and mull over life!” after a hard day of pencil-pushing. Heaven Ain’t Happenin’ and a couple of beers (preferably of the Milwaukee variety) will provide a period of introspection and reassessment.
“Buffet” begins (with the annoying mantra of “we make meals out of condiments”) and you sit there, watching television on mute, thinking about your role in the game of life, contemplating actually reading Joyce rather than making offhand references to him. It’s a “deep” record, jarring and soothing simultaneously for ten songs, that is both easier to listen to and slightly les pretentious than either of the member’s former bands. Toko Yasuda’s vocals as pleasing as Chris Leo’s are irritating (I never really dug his “speaking the lyrics” style), and his two indie-rock brothers, Ted (late of Chisel) and Dave provide percussion and rhythm on many tracks.
This is an attractive record, with a hip design worthy of even Gap-ad status. The cool monotones of sleeve mesh well with the unadulterated coolness of the two cats in The Lapse. Perhaps they are a passing fad, yet another underground band with a name that begins with “the” and ends in a singular word (i.e. Make Up, Rapture, Anniversary, Locust, Van Pelt, et.al.). Even if that is the case, this story has a happy ending, because I am satisfied with Heaven Ain’t Happenin’—I enjoy the layout and I like the band’s name.