Fraud in Lisbon EP is a pretty not bad entry into the Real Estate soundalike sweepstakes, with just a touch of psychedelia to colour things up.
The Fraud in Lisbon EP was reputedly recorded in the bedrooms belong to this New York City group, and it shows. Particularly frustrating is the poor quality of the recording: songs are chopped off before they fade out, and if you listen closely enough, you may hear places in the songs where someone took the razor blade and scotch tape to the recording tape to stitch song parts together. That’s a shame, for the Fraud in Lisbon EP is a pretty not bad entry into the Real Estate soundalike sweepstakes, with just a touch of psychedelia to colour things up. This is music that conjures up images of wool sweaters, crisp days and falling leaves, so it’s very a propos that the album is now seeing American national release (it appears to have been made available locally last year) at a time when the seasons are about to turn. The first track on the EP is interesting in that it grafts two things together: “Colors” is the bonafide song with lyrics, while second part “In Absentia” is jaunty and jangly instrumental.
Outside of the recording issues, there’s no real flaw on the disc songwriting-wise, aside from one niggling thing. See, I’m not sure what a “Logocenter” is, but I’ll be danged if the refrain of that tune hasn’t hooked a way onto my grey matter. “Street Faces” is a delightful strum of Nuggets-era psych, with glorious harmonies. “No Sunglasses” would have easily found its way onto that first Real Estate album, such a rotoscope of that band’s yacht rock this is. While Fraud in Lisbon is short (roughly 24 minutes), it moves with grace and fluidity, and the band certainly knows its way around a well constructed song, musically, even if the lyrics sometimes seem like gibberish. So, certainly, there’s more work needed to be done, but the biggest drawback is that these guys need to get themselves outta the bedroom and into a proper recording studio. If they can do that and clarify their lyrics a bit, Whitewash won’t need anyone to paint over the band’s rough spots. Their music certainly already does the talking for them, and so they just need to accentuate that strength a little bit more.