IDAHO: Lapse (Arts & Crafts) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 25th, 2024  



Arts & Crafts

Jun 05, 2024 Bookmark and Share

Lapse is the first album of all-new material by cult slowcore group IDAHO in more than 13 years, a timespan in which most bands will either churn through several release cycles or implode in the process. But IDAHO seem allergic to drama and the machinery of the industry in general; Lapse is a low-key record that reveals itself in quiet ways, a series of hazy bulletins from the interior life of singer Jeff Martin.

You hear the songs on Lapse with the strange feeling that you’re catching them in mid-motion, like walking into a movie theater after the lights have already dimmed and the first few scenes have played out. These are slice-of-life vignettes, snapshots of relationships in decline or moments of regret, all rendered in Martin’s distinctive foggy drawl. He barely even sings, acting instead as a weary narrator guiding you from one small-scale insight to the next. It’s a disarmingly effective approach, giving key lines an unadorned power; when Martin murmurs “Twenty-five years and nothing’s changed/It’s a lonely day so far from home” in the hypnotic crawl of “West Side,” you’re not sure exactly where he’s dialing in from, but you know you’ve been there before.

The album was recorded in Martin’s mother’s house in 29 Palms, California, and the sparse, gently rolling arrangements reflect the desert heat—it’s a parched sound, spacious and brittle. The presence of newcomer Robby Fronzo on guitar has clearly invigorated Martin, shifting IDAHO back to full band mode for the first time since 2000’s Hearts of Palm.

IDAHO may not have received the lofty acclaim or attention of some of their peers, but Martin still seems quietly determined to do things his way. “Break some records, break a sweat/Before you’re fuckin dead,” he almost whispers in the hushed single “On Fire.” If this is his mantra, it’s serving him well. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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