Friday, January 11, 2013

Album Review: Lasorda - Lasorda

Lasorda is a supergroup that includes members of The Get Up Kids, The New Amsterdams, fun., The Honorary Title, and Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band. But instead of using their established names to create something that the kids will eat up, they take this opportunity to experiment with new sounds- winding up with something different than from what the band's members are typically known for.

Remember when Farewell Continental formed and some press releases and/or reviews of their sound claimed that they were a more shoegaze-y version of Motion City Soundtrack with dual male-female vocals? I never really understood that, mostly because Farewell Continental never really came off as shoegaze to me. I mean, I admit that I don't really listen to a whole lot of shoegaze- but Farewell Continental really just sounded like Motion City Soundtrack with more of a 90's indie feel and a female co-vocalist. Well, Lasorda is kind of like Farewell Continental- except that Lasorda actually fits into my idea of what shoegaze sounds like (though, again, I don't listen to shoegaze so there's a strong possibility that I am way off here).

The songs are mostly even-paced, and even the more energetic of the songs on their debut album are pretty mellow. The guitars and keys have a tendency to drone on for awhile, the drums are simple and provide a sturdy structure for each song. At times Lasorda's music sounds like really dark 80's pop music- the kind of dark-sounding pop music that could fit on the Drive soundtrack. Well, maybe not as electronically distorted as that, but almost.

Lead vocalist Suzannah Johannes has a voice that suits the low-key tone of the music perfectly, singing calmly throughout most of the tracks, although she can also pick up the pace alongside the music when it's required. Johannes also provides provides a pleasant surprise for anyone expecting Get Up Kids front-man Matt Pryor to do a majority of the singing- despite being the biggest name in the band (his involvement is the entire reason I had even discovered them), Pryor really only sings lead on a single song, while the rest of his vocals, when they do appear, are limited to backups and harmonies. Considering that the man already fronts three bands and has his own solo project, it's nice to know that he's humble enough to start yet another band and not want to take the spotlight. In fact, he probably only sings those handful of times so that the Get Up Kids fans aren't left wondering if he's really playing on the album or not.

In summary, Lasorda's album is weird, but that doesn't mean it's unlistenable. Quite the opposite actually. Don't go into it thinking you know what to expect just because you know who is in the band, because chances are pretty high that you'll be wrong. These guys achieve where Farewell Continental kind of fell flat.

Lasorda is available in both vinyl or digital formats.

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