LANZ is the Brooklyn-based experimental indie rock project of Benjamin Lanz. He grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, and spent his formative years being influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth, Pixies, Sebadoh, Polvo. He went to college at SUNY-Purchase, where he studied trombone, drums, and something that sounds like sound engineering. While his is not a household name, even in indie rock circles, Ben Lanz has worked with a bunch of people who are indie rock royalty.
In the mid-aughts, Lanz was asked to be an extra horn in a Sufjan Stevens performance. Later, when Stevens was touring in support of an album of outtakes from Illinois, Lanz joined an all-star team of touring musicians. Among the touring band were Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) and Bryce Dessner out of The National. Through this connection, Lanz became a touring member of The National. Through that connection, he formed a band called LNZNDRF with Scott and Bryan Devendorf out of The National. Lanz also joined the band Beirut right around that time.
Last year, Lanz put out his first album —Hofferlanz I— under the LANZ moniker, and he just released the follow-up via Brassland Records.
I haven’t written anything in a long time, and I’ve been “sort of” keeping up with the mail bag. This is something “new to me” that arrived in the mailbag recently. I was initially directed towards a different song from the new album, and I liked it a lot, but I might like this one better. It’s angular, weird, and multi-tiered. It’s got lots of different textures and flavors.
“125 bpm” by LANZ
I like that the guitar is sort of noodle-y in the beginning. Like some prog rock that one of my college roommates was into.
I like that it builds slowly to a satisfying, slightly kraut-y buzz by the end of the song. At the end, we have the buzzy guitars, the synths, the driving drum pattern, the repeated chorus “This is all I’ll ask for”. It’s all really glorious. There’s something about the whole package that reminds me much less of any of the aforementioned bands and much more of The Beta Band.
You can buy Hoferlanz II via Bandcamp here.