Love as Laughter formed in 1994 after the breakup of indie-pop favorite Lync. They were a Sub Pop band in the late 1990s and released its most recent LP, Holy, in 2008 on Epic. Love as Laughter spans most of the musical eras that a 30-something indie fan is likely to remember, and its catalog is suitably varied.
Holy is both mellow and tight, like a less spacey Luna. Some of the band's catchiest and most tonally unified work is on this album, whereas the catalog gets rawer as you move backward in time. 1999's Destination 2000, for example, is punky and hoarse. Tracks like "Stay Out of Jail" capture the collision of Mudhoney swirl and Black Flag revanchism that characterized late '90s indie rock. And the band's full-length debut, 1996's The Greks Bring Gifts, croons over fuzzed-out guitar arrangements in a way that evokes The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Love as Laughter has a corpus, in other words, and it rewards exploration. Each album seems to reflect the fashions of its time while maintaining a coherent aesthetic—one the band solidifies by varying. The more things change, the more Love as Laughter stays the same: endlessly mutable.
Love as Laughter plays the VFW Wed., Aug. 6, at 9 PM with Love of Everything, Boxcutters and Holy Lands. $5.