Friday Music: Most of the good bits were about frogs, I remember that

I am so happy that the bulk of the Webergeddon (Weber Watch, Sheananigans) stuff is all behind the Predators now. But this has been a fairly shitty week as far as I'm concerned, so I'm just going to let the reviews take over.

Aficionado – Self Titled (iTunes Link)

I have to say that the energy and excitement surrounding this album drove me to make the purchase. I’m fond of the indie + punk rock sound, and from what I’d heard, that was exactly what Aficionado were serving. Right off the bat I’m going to let you know that the band’s eponymously titled debut is a good album. What it is not is a great album. That may prove to be fortuitous because Aficionado has a lot of room to grow and really wow people whenever they record and release a sophomore album. The thing I love most about the record is the guitar work. The entire album is packed with soaring guitar riffs that are just too energetic and alive to be compared to metal. I instantly thought of a less technical Fang Island, which makes sense with Fang Island being an instrumental band. I’m not entirely sold on the inclusion of the keyboard. Frequently the keys are used to support the melody and it sounds wonderful. Other times the keys try to make themselves known and it just sounds forced. The other thing is the flute. I saw all sorts of people talking about the flute. There is one song on the album with a flute part, and it is pointless. The melody during the bridge of “Everything Was Right” is wholly given over to the flute, and the flute sounds totally out of place and weak. It strikes me as being somewhere between a gimmick and pointless addition.

 I am found of the vocal work. Nick Warchol puts up some really great vocal work that is reminiscent of an American Frank Turner. Laura Carrozza sings what I guess you would call back-up vocals. She takes the lead on a few songs, but gets overpowered the second Warchol joins in. This could be due to a difference in loudness of the vocals or it could be due to the mixing, but it works. Laura’s more melodic tones are pleasant and contract nicely with Nick’s voice. Finally, the band really shines lyrically and compositionally when they slow things down. It may be because there seems to be a greater emphasis on the lyrics or possibly because Laura and Nick can play off one another better at a slower tempo. All things considered Aficionado put out a solid album, and I could see them having a bright future.

Aficionado:EOAYSDF from brighterlightsmedia on Vimeo.

Larry & His Flask – All That We Know (iTunes Link)

You can’t just sit down and write a review for Larry & His Flask. Every song that the band performs is meant to be heard and experienced in a live setting. When you record that music you lose an important element of what makes the band what they are. But I would in no one deny that “All That We Know” does not do its absolute best to capture the raucous spirit of the band. L&HF belong to the same general family as Old Man Markley and Mischief Brew. All of the band’s songs are punk-infused bluegrass romps paired with lyrics that are part Americana, gothic and part drawn from the diaries of free-roaming rapscallions. There is lots of shared vocal duties, but guitarist Ian Cook handles most of the leads. What the band can guarantee is that they will do their best to sweep you up in their stories and carry                
                                                      you dancing into the night.

Since I’ve had the privilege of seeing Larry & His Flask live I wanted to touch on the band in their element. They were touring with Streetlight Manifesto, and I have to say I’m grateful that they were first band on that night. If there had not been a buffer band between the two I think Streetlight risked getting shown up that night. The boys on stage were certainly a unit, it seemed like they could switch around instruments at will without losing a beat. Well, to be honest they did exchange instruments regularly without a drop in skill or intensity. Within the first thirty seconds the entire crowd was into the set, and for the last five minutes the band was into the crowd. Literally. The final song found the whole band intermingled with the crowed dancing, playing, and singing. It was a wild good time, and I imagine that the remnants of my memories of the show enhance my enjoyment of the album.

This song features Andrew Carew on lead vocals. The crazy bearded man with the guitar is Ian.

Call it What You Will - Larry and His Flask (Music Video) from Wes Coughlin on Vimeo.

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