Rapid Fire Reviews – 8/16
Posted: by Henderson
LKFFCT – Flower Investment Pawn
Lkffct (pronounced Lake Effect) are veteran punks of the NJ basement scene. While their past releases have drifted between lo-fi and stoner rock, Flower Investment Pawn has much more of a firm indie rock feel. This tighter songwriting makes for catchier and more memorable tracks. As usual with these guys, the lyrics are slightly humorous but take on some serious subjects and do so thoughtfully. “Howling Alarm” is a gem that discusses the monotony of everyday life and “Appleseed” takes on weak father figures. This is the sort of album that will hook you with its catchy choruses but then reel you in with the depth of it’s lyrics. The band features two songwriters who take turns on vocals, Keith and Max, so that adds a Beatles esque diversity. Did I just compare Lkffct to the Beatles? You better believe it. The true value of this music comes with seeing them live however. Brian going nuts on the bass and Ryan hammering the drums, while Keith and Max taking turns stirring the crowd into a frenzy. Lkffct are something special and this album is their best record to date.
Hymn – Mouth EP
Hymn has a straightforward indie/punk sound, shades of Spraynard, In Writing and other great PA bands of the last decade. While their guitar work and instrumentals are legit, what really sets them apart is the dynamic vocals that bounce between smooth singing, harmonies, and light screams that give tracks like “Mouth” a nice flow. The lyrics touch upon the more complicated parts of life like social anxiety, which gives the tracks some depth. As the final track, “Sleeping Bag”, builds to its conclusion you really can feel Hymn hitting their stride. They manage to pack a ton of energy and surprise you in a genre where it often feels like everything has been done before. Definitely interested to hear what is coming next for them.
Blowout – No Beer, No Dad
Blowout are an explosion of energy. With vocals that remind me of Chumped, but with instrumentals with the rhythmic sprint of Looming. The opening track “Cents Cents Money Money” is a perfect example, before you even know what is going on you are screaming “MAYBE ILL GET A JOB SOMEDAY MAYBE ILL FIND THE WORDS TO SAY!”, and then the song changes suddenly the 5th change in the 1st track. It’s a roller coaster of an album and not one of those 30 second coasters either, this one is a hell of a ride and you get your money’s worth. By the time the interlude hits about 5 minutes in, you are just glad you can catch your breath before singing along a bit more. This album is a full 10 tracks (not counting the intro and interlude) and nearly every track delivers. The pace never stops and you won’t even mind that the tracks blend into each other. It’s definitely a set it and forget it type record.
Crime Lab – Headlock Season
I fell in love with Crime Lab’s last EP and Headlock Season delivers more of the same. 6 tracks that cut deep. This band has something about them that’s intriguing and beautiful, but hard to put your finger on. Their instrumentals fade in and out of the foreground with a Glocca Morra or even The Cribs type sound, warm guitar tones or cunning bass lines only occasionally peeking through the sound puddle. But the emotional and messy vocals slice right through the haze when they want to. The lyrics are deeply personal and poetic, but usually only half serious, smiling through tears. On your first listen you will have no idea what the tracks are about, but you’ll be singing along anyway. By the 10th, you’ll have some theories. The 3rd track “Stabbies” is a highlight. As the lyrics mumble, “You say you don’t care either way / but you probably go and change your mind like you do all the damn time” the guitars cut in and you know exactly the feeling. Almost every single lyric is quotable and every listen crowns a new favorite. As of the time of this writing I am going with, “Don’t I make you mad all the time? / Don’t you think I’ll be funny one more time?”