Thursday, May 28, 2009

EP Review- "L.A.B."- Lose the acronym, chegados.

No, seriously. I've never quite understood how successful and/or otherwise competent bands think that it's okay to have a name that is an acronym. I'm not talking about abbreviations- ELP and PIL are safe here. Really, though, there are enough ridiculous band names out there that there's not a single reason to think that it would be cool to make your band name the acronym of a ridiculous phrase. Therefore we have POD ("payable on death"), HIM ("his infernal majesty"), NERD ("noone ever really dies"), and the execrable local NIAYH ("now is all you have"). This last is a humbling example... my teenaged sister-in-law had a visit from NIAYH at her California school, and promptly became obsessed with them, to the point of naming her cat Niayh. What are they teaching in schools these days? I must admit I've experienced this thing too, though, my TAG camp getting not only a musical visit but also a later namecheck in song by Plunky Branch and the Oneness of Juju.

And don't think songs or albums are exempt either. Everyone loves Incubus, right? Your mom even likes Incubus. So why would they be so douche-y as to name an album "S.C.I.E.N.C.E"? Let's ask them! Or rather, let's let wikipedia do it for us:

S.C.I.E.N.C.E. was titled as such because the band felt like they were working on a science project whilst creating the album, as such the acronym has no real meaning. Instead the band has chosen to let people interpret the title as they see fit. The acronym S.C.I.E.N.C.E. is as enigmatic as the moustachioed man on the cover.

Anyway, I will give the benefit of the doubt to our review subject LAB ("Less A Bullshit") because they are from Brazil and that nation is full of surprises.

One such surprise is how despite the increasing production values on new or independent bands' demos, that a demo can still sound like a demo. This one certainly does, and I like the energy. Be warned- as good as it is, this is not anything you haven't heard before from other modern interpreters of New Order/Depeche Mode-influenced synth rock. Though there is something about the Portuguese lyrics that make them seem vastly less pretentious than English-speaking bands (T.H.E. K.I.L.L.E.R.S., I'm talking to you. Check your shit before you wreck your shit. Oops, too late.)

There is something about these kids... did I hear a little Joe Jackson in their song "Uma Vida em 8 bits"? It's good timing with this review because I've been delving into a little more of this style and can appreciate it. You should too. Check out L.A.B. before they get big.

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