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Buzz Bands

June 12, 2008|David Greenwald

Despite having earned accolades from both Leonard Cohen and the blogosphere tastemakers, New York group Ravens & Chimes are still hunting for their Big Apple break. "I naively assumed the record would speak for itself," says frontman and songwriter Asher Lack (pictured in front). Indeed, "Reichenbach Falls" (the sextet's 2007 debut) has garnered comparisons to the Arcade Fire with its blend of bombast and impassioned lyricism. Cohen's approval came after hearing a Ravens & Chimes cover of his "So Long, Marianne." The reclusive singer-songwriter -- one of Lack's idols -- "e-mailed us about it and said your record is really good," he says. But pats on the back don't sell records: "Reichenbach Falls" has only scanned 2,000 copies -- hardly Vampire Week -- end numbers. "We quit our day jobs and got new day jobs and quit our new day jobs," Lack says. The band fits work in between a hectic tour schedule that's seen them play over 60 dates this year. Several members live in Brooklyn, a hype tornado where the local scene can be a fickle mistress. "There's a little bit of the too-cool-for-school attitude," Lack says. "The neon pants to the big beards, it's a costume." Still, with an album under their belts and a national tour underway, the band can't help but be confident. "I was super anxious about the future," Lack says. "Now I feel like I've got a handle on the process." Ravens & Chimes will join Afternoons' free residency at Spaceland on Monday along with Neil Young-approved local quintet Everest. . . . L.A. duo the Submarines -- their sophomore album "Honeysuckle Weeks" just released -- play the Echo on Friday (along with Castledoor). . . . Easygoing L.A. indie-popper Devon Williams celebrates the release of "Carefree" at Amoeba on Tuesday.

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-- David.Greenwald@latimes.com

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