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Music Review

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Artist: Lags
Label: Casu Marzu Records / To Lose La Track / Fuzzy Cluster Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 29 March 2019

Casu Marzu Records releases Lags’ sophomore album Soon on vinyl, CD, cassette and download, three years after their debut Pilot. Lags incorporates Antonio Canestri on guitar and vocals, Gianluca Lateana on guitar, Daniele De Carli on bass, and renowned athlete Andrew Howe on drums. The music is described as '90s post-hardcore and indie-punk, with a punchier and more pro-active sound than their original. The theme is said to be honest and self-realising, delving into the uncertainty of life, suffering and the consequences of healing thereafter...

When 'Knives and Wounds' begins we are introduced to the album with a bass guitar riff and a nice drum pattern. The vocals come as quite a shock. They are harsh, stark and strangely tuneless (and that’s coming from a Metal fan who likes growled vocals). Conversely, the music is very melodic in a traditional rock manner.

The thing that strikes me about 'Echoes' is the mix. You can hear each instrument with equal clarity. The vocals are a little better but still not in touch with the whole. 'Showdown' is a simple but effective chord structure, with a repeated riff which grounds the song. Rock with elements of indie rawness; pop in structure. Any of these could be singles or YouTube clips.

With 'The Bait' the vocals are even more removed from the piece. It’s somewhat like Roger Waters, this one, making certain we know about the harsh realities of the world. In 'Magic Bullet' the vocals sound not so much punk-outspoken as a cry for help. 'Second Thoughts' showcases the excellent drums; throughout there are nice diverse drum patterns. The spoken vocals format works really well for 'What it Takes'. Probably one of the most enjoyable songs on offer here. This is undone again when the vocals grate in 'Acceptable'. 'I Still Remember' features another great drum pattern, with a linked instrumental break.

And now we get to 'Il Podista' (is this 'Showdown' again?). The difference here is that it’s sung in Italian. It sounds 100 times better. The vocals fit the music now. Perhaps they all should have been sung in their native language. This is a bonus song, but there’s no doubt it’s the best track by far. There is even a slight scream. The music is simple but fine across the whole album, let down only by the vocal style. The last track shows how strong the whole album could have been.


Ty Power

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