On 14th April 2005 at 22:14 Anonymous 4015 wrote...
I love the opening sentence of this article. Breaks every law of journalism, but still made me laugh. :-D
By The Adventures of Loki
I don't write reviews. I've rarely felt moved enough to bother taking the time to do it, and I categorically do not do pannings. This, however, is an exception. This band is incredible.
This is the second release from Lancaster's finest, who are quickly building a following in and around Leeds due to their quite frankly astonishing live show. To give you a local reference point, they sound a bit like Mama Scuba on speed. Live, seeing and hearing Loki is a bit like being twatted over the head with a length of 2x4 for 25 minutes. In the words of guitarist and singer Steve, they sound 'a bit like a car crash'. They are aggressive, energetic and passionate. See them once and you'll be back for more.
Unfortunately, their previous release 'Issue #1' didn't quite do them justice, mainly due to a weedy sound and a band not quite into their stride. It was a good listen but not a true reflection of the power they have live. It is incredibly difficult to capture this kind of live band in the studio, where volume, power and energy cannot be relied upon to hook the listener. That is the job of the songs, and 'Issue # 1' didn't really have them to be honest.
This release however, is not only a reflection of them live, it is a quite staggeringly stonking slab of rock and roll excitement. It's punky, it's arty, it's poppy and it's loud. We have loud verses and louder choruses. For a measly £3 you get 3 tracks, all under 3:30, all with hooks you could hang your coat on.
'Feminine Side' opens with a staggeringly cheeky lyric theft and romps to a halt a breathtaking 2:18 later. The lyrics are ice cool, the melodies addictive and the rhythms relentless. The twin girl/boy vocals work beautifully here, Steve holding the melody down whilst bassist and co-vocalist Bridgit screams like a pre-menstrual Yoko Ono over a simple two chord trick. By the time it reaches the 'Don't worry man, I'm with the band' section, you are either totally immersed, singing along like a grinning loon or suffering from some serious illness. Like death.
'Take 5 to Break 9' picks up the mantle. It's the most angry song here. For once, distorted vocals actually add something to the song, instead of just being there because the engineer was bored! 1:30 is the key point here, when the harmonised vocal melodies hit home to great effect. Hooks this good make me want to punch the air and hug my mates. People in Leeds on a Friday night usually end up hugging the air and punching their mates, but that's a different story.
'Suck It And See' is the jewel in the crown. Since Little Richard first screamed 'awopbapaloobomawopbamboo' there has been a fine line of songs with unintelligible lyrics. I'm pleased to report that 'Suck It And See' continues that tradition with aplomb. I don't know what on earth they're shouting about but it sounds important. (Actually I do know what they're shouting about as there's a lyric sheet included, but you know what I mean!) There's a fabulous breakdown section here, complete with hand claps and a hook you will have in your head weeks later, on the bus, in bed, walking down the street, whenever it feels like being there. If this hook doesn't get your goosebumps out, your goosebumps aren't working properly.
Any one of these three songs could have been a single, they're all that good. There's a disarming simplicity about these songs, the kind of simplicity that is so difficult to do and takes years to develop. There are no pretensions in the lyrics, the music or their stage show. This is quite simply a great rock and roll band with great songs that have all the crap stripped out.
Where have they been whilst the music industry at large has been fawning over Pete Doherty and which ever bunch of ham fisted hillbillies he's brought along this week? In a lame music world full of poseurs and non-entities this band are the real deal. They just hit me where I live. Once the right person hears this they will be completely irrepressible. If they're not huge within a year I'll eat Steve Kind's hat.