During quarantine isolation, Ljunqquist was rather productive: he wrote and recorded Time Travel Ban’s five-song debut, Smoke & Mirrors in a Brooklyn-based rehearsal space. Seemingly inspired by 120 Minutes MTV-era alt rock like My Bloody Valentine, Hum, Jawbox, Shiner, Foo Fighters, and Ringo Deathstarr, the EP’s material will likely be nostalgia-inducing yet fresh sounding.
The EP’s material was carefully assembled by stacking layers of woozy guitars and chugging low-end atop of structure of persistently pounding rhythms. The EP’s latest single “Free Me From Myself” is a great example of what listeners should expect: rousingly anthemic hooks, woozy, pedal-effected power chords, a motorik-like chug of a rhythm and thunderous drumming. And while this particular song sonically manages to remind me a bit of Finelines-era My Vitriol, the song feels urgent and desperate. As Ljungquist explains in press notes, the song is about the feeling as though you were trapped within your own malfunctioning mind — without respite or escape.