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Eisley – Laughing City

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Tyler, Texas, is no place to hang out if you’re looking to make the great on the dream-pop circuit. No doubt why this young all-in-the-family outfit — their bassist is however recruited from beyond the bloodline — has lately foregone home territory for North American tours, fronting the likes of alt-rock deities Coldplay. I first ran across Eisley when they were but a local act, on the verge of the big deal but still passing out one-offs at all-age shows and cramming for trigonometry exams between appearances. That’s back when they were MossEisley, before their big-time platter purveyors decided perhaps prudently to forego any sort of legal scuffle with juggernaut Lucasfilm. For the uninitiated and inveterate Star Wars hater, I offer the band naming history in manic episode mode:

Mos Eisley: name of spaceport city on remote dust-bowl planet Tatooine in first Star Wars film (actually Episode III, of course, now known as A New Hope, due to director George Lucas’s prequel predilection; Obi-Wan Kenobi declares of same, “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” (So much for that: at least this particular Jedi Master has never been to Kuala Lumpur.); band named MossEisley not Mos Eisley or MosEisley or moseisley; it could have been irony for all we know; long-gone Star Wars model toy play-set trademarked under Mos Eisley; mark expired but still on the books; nobody wants to fight; kids want to be jukebox heroes; what the hell? we go with Eisley; can’t sue us for that, can they?; oh yes they can but let’s hope they don’t.

Whew! And today we have Eisley, an outstanding brood of musicians ranging in age from about 15 to 21; do not let their youth fool you; rather, let it entrance you. On the Laughing City EP, “I Wasn’t Prepared” is a gorgeous bedtime lullaby. “Tree Tops”, another children’s song, this one more suited to skipping rope or playing hopscotch. Finally, the title track, destined to be a dreamer classic: You’ll swoon over it at first blush. Indeed, the only real downer in Eisley’s repertoire is their Web site: attractive, but overloaded with too many obliterative multimedia technologies for this writer.

Forthcoming, slated for 9th December, is Eisley’s second EP, Marvelous Things; and I for one certainly hope it’s an appropriately titled follow-up release. If so, you’ll want that one, too. But can they sustain a full-length recording? A whole bloody album? Time as it has the habit of doing will tell, although I remain supremely confident and await a disc weighing in at more than five tracks. Within the year, to put a point on it. (If they tack the second EP onto the first and call that an album, these youngsters will rue the day they ever looked twice at a piano.)

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