This is a review of "Spiders" recorded by Louise Distras. The review was written by Matt Bentley in 2010.
Starting with a gross generalisation (what else), I'm not really very keen on the kind of new-punk-folk solo-artist thing going on at the moment. I find the lyrical angst a bit contrived, and always feel it's basically "band music" but without the band. It always seems to be missing something. However, simply because something is not my bag shouldn't mean I can't try to view and review it objectively, so that's what I'll do.
As you may have guessed, "Spiders" by Louise Distras is a really punk influenced EP; it's fast paced and strummy, and the lyrics rat-a-tat at you like hailstones. There's not a huge amount of show-womanship going on, but I guess that's the point; this is about the songs. There's one guitar, and apart from some very sparse and quiet backing vocals, one vocal. I think there might be a tambourine at one point too.
While the lyrics are angsty, they also seem heartfelt and fairly well written - from what I can hear of them at least; I'm not sure what she's singing a lot of the time. The songs, while a little samey, seem well constructed and pretty catchy; I was tapping my foot along to a couple.
Distras has a decent voice, and while it's not amazing, she works it very well over these fast paced tunes. In parts it breaks into a pleasant higher register, in others it snarls in true punk fashion.
All in all though, I think the tracks on this EP struggle without a band backing them up - the whole thing seems that bit too thin and fails to grab the attention. After three songs, I was struggling to differentiate between them; it was all the same pace, the same style and the same mood. I think with a band, and I'm talking an acoustic band here, these songs would come alive and would make a much bigger impression.
I see from her myspace that Distras was recently the frontwoman to a band called Blockades, so maybe she's trying to get away from the whole band thing, but it's not really panned out on this EP.