Letters From Earth

local space rockers unleash original blend of music

Zack Gauck, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

The band prior to a minor staircase-based injury.

Letters From Earth, the Eau Claire four-piece made up of Tyler Griggs (vocals), Nathias Heard (bass), Phil Langhout (drums), and Riley Schiefelbein (guitar) is, even as the band admits, hard to describe. Their songs are “big, expressive … epic,” combining toe-tapping drum beats, head-bobbing bass grooves, driving guitar, and edgy vocals. In talking about their influences and sound, Schiefelbein settled on “Muse meets Mark Twain and Megaman.” You can hear the dark undertones of Castlevania-like riffs in The Velveteen Rabbit and some hints of Metroid in their newest song Eternally Yours. While the Nintendo references are unintentional, the music does fall into the same category as Letters From Earth’s: ambitious songs that leave your head bobbing and hands trying to emulate the guitar and drums simultaneously. The band’s self-described genre, “space rock,” can accurately describe songs like Instant Gratification and Space Carchase, while Agitated and Apathetic sounds more like something you’d hear on a 411 skate video – opening guitar progressions with a drum beat reminiscent of old school punk. The effect pedal is used heavily to switch between hair metal riffs, funk beats, heavy chord progressions, and dark, almost synth-like reverbs. The band has been working on an EP with up-and-coming Eau Claire record company Retina Records. When you see LFE play, be prepared for high energy final bout boss-stage fights with an ambient guitar that combines a few genres into driven dénouements.

    Letters From Earth • June 18 at 10pm with Dear Elvira and Electrolyte Empire at Bottle & Barrel, 208 S Barstow St., Eau Claire • June 25 at 9:30pm with Retina Records Showcase at House of Rock, 422 Water St., Eau Claire • both FREE • ages 21+ •