Thursday, January 24, 2008

Reviews:: Lach The Calm Before

Lach is kind of an underground legend. His name is like one of those names old ballers drop in conversations; "I played two games with Earl Manigault one Sunday." It's really the same as mentioning playing a show at the Fort. I could easily tell you lots of things from his wikipedia but it's probably better to say he is one of the driving forces behind the anti-folk movement and let you decide if that matters to you or not.

Lach's new record - The Calm Before - is about as honest an effort as you are going to find. He was dead set against using any studio magic, opting for sounds produced by humans playing instruments. The simplicity scrapes away any unwanted notes and while the record is kind of hit or miss, there are moments that deserve to be heard.

You'd be hard pressed to not hear This Ain't a Song and not look past Lach's music and into the struggle of keeping the movement alive, but I think this album can stand on it's own. I Won't Miss You is a terrific anti-love song that contrasts the sour of his lyrics with an sweet sing-along melody. The old-timey feel of George at Coney, the heavy strums and folk-punk tempo of Questions, the surge of horns on Crazy House, and the piano on This Ain't a Song all jump out of your headphones.

So many pop punk rockers pick up an acoustic and try to replicate the music that evolved from the NYC scene, tossing it as the last track of a record full of the same chords. Somehow the emotional track about being a misunderstood loner coming from a mall punk shopping at Hot Topic cheapens the success of the genre. Those songs don't have that bite of hardship and reality. On the other hand, when Lach calls someone a chicken head or tells you he will be okay with out you, well... it's true.

This record somehow feels like it was years in the making, full of experience, pain and joy. When he sings about not caring if a lover is drinking again, you start to wonder just how down and out she really was. It sounds cliché to tell people to listen to their elders and learn from what they've done, but in a time where kids start band and just ape someone's style, there is lots to be learned from Lach.

[MP3]:: I Want To Be With You
[MP3]:: Egg

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Posted at 3:15 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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