This is a review of "Breathing is Optional" recorded by Lapdog. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2000.
Lapdog's second EP comes after their sold out "Now It Can Be Told" debut and has been achieving some recognition for the band since the launch in November. The CD features three tracks, which in their titles alone seem to be telling a story: "Nick Drake", "Parasite" and "Mellow Brick Road"; I have images, but does this mean anything guys?
The opening track is very solid, powerful and well structured with a long carefully planned opening that gives away the quiet-noise future that the track will develop into. Ric Miller's almost whining vocals lead us take us towards the chorus, which is strong and very well worth the wait - almost 2 minutes of a wait though.
A little story: we were playing this CD after the last showcase gig with some of the A&R representatives that had turned up and they seemed to enjoy the build up, the tension and the atmosphere but thought that it should have kicked-off much earlier. That being said, it's now grown on me and I actually appreciate the structure more now.
As we go onto the second track it is obvious where Ric's vocal technique is lodged in the back of my mind. Despite the rockier aspects to Lapdog's music, the vocals are not too dissimilar to those shown by JJ72 - though not as whiny and a bit rougher, which I like, because whilst I enjoy listening to JJ72, the vocals get on my nerves.
"Mellow Brick Road" begins with a 30 second burst of alternative guitars, effects and a swirl atmosphere before dropping off into a lull, allowing the band to show off the obvious vocal talent that Ric displays. This is another song featuring a powerful chorus, something that seems to be a trademark for Lapdog.
This CD highlights a very tight band, with very good vocals (which makes a change) and some good well-written songs. It's probably not the best local act's CD that I've received to date but it's certainly in the top five.