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The Life and Times

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Kansas City MO, United States (2002 – present)

The Life and Times is a Kansas City, MO indie rock band fronted by former Shiner bandleader Allen Epley. After Shiner disbanded in late 2002, Epley began working with drummer Mike Myers and bassist/guitarist John “Houdini” Meredith and released their debut EP “The Flat End Of The Earth” in the summer of 2003. “Flat End’s” most noticeable distinction from Shiner was the instrumentation; after the bombardment that marked Shiner, Epley found a looser, almost Floydian dynamic to his usual foundation of distorted guitar and brooding vocals, and the early material explored the moodier edge of their sound.

Although the lineup had a fair amount of material recorded, the EP would end up being their only document. After touring extensively for the EP, the lineup disbanded, with Mike Myers going to drum for The String and Return. Epley, however, decided to recruit a new lineup under the same name, and brought in bassist Eric Abert of Ring, Cicada, and drummer Chris Metcalf to work out new material. The difference is striking - Metcalf’s drumming couldn’t be further from Myers, laying out metric layers of relentless percussion that when combined with Abert’s bass comes closer to Helmet than anything else. For all of the heaviness, though, the songs themselves are prone to developing a shimmering beauty with layers of guitar and processed vocals cascading against the rhythm section, and “Suburban Hymns” goes deeper into the more emotional territory suggested on “Flat End.”

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