Release Date: 5/11/2018
Label: Forged Artifacts
Between Bandcamp and the rebirth of the cassette, it seems like a golden age to be a bedroom pop artist. Well crafted, lo-fi indie pop lends itself perfectly to the cassette medium. There have been a ton of great releases over the last few years. The most recent to hit my ears was the new LP from New Orleans band Lawn.
Blood On The Tracks is hook laden post punk. Fugazi with White Album sensibilities. Or maybe it’s more White Album with Fugazi sensibilities. Lawn blurs the line between pop and post punk that at times it doesn’t always feel like the same band. But other times they combine the two so flawlessly that you see the band’s vision clearly.
The first three songs on the record really showcase and highlight Lawn’s versatility and vision. The album opener, 2000 Boy, is pure pop perfection. A perfect summer time playlist song. It’s a song fit for mass-produced Spotify playlists and public radio themed playlists (I’m looking at you Rosewave). Just as the pop induced coma sets in, Lawn hits you with the Pixies esque Rat. Rat hits you with groove heavy guitar and bass lines, striking quick hits, punctuating the melody. And of the two first tracks on the album, Rat has the more memorable hook. But the band puts it all together for the title track, Blood on the Tracks. It instantly reminded me of Fugazi songs like Recap Modotti and Sweet and Low. It’s a punk song infused with pop to drive home a point. Again, it’s not pop in any conventional sense of the word but you will find yourself singing the chorus days later.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Pop songs like Making Friends, Vinnie, Clank, and Jackson are interspersed between great punk tracks like My Boy, Restless and Tired (on of my favorites on the album), Hips, and Diets. Lawn gives you the full range of what they do all at once. Which makes me wonder if they should have gone the Modern Baseball route and cut the album differently. With a cassette release the ability to have the pop tracks on one side and punk on the other makes sense.
On the other hand, I appreciate Lawn crafting a record that keeps you on your toes and is giving you the whole range of the band top to bottom. This isn’t a record you can preview 30 seconds of and decide if you love or hate it. You have to sit and digest the songs. You get to be surprised by what comes next.
Between the gritty punk spirit and the beautifully crafted pop tunes, Blood on the Tracks is a must listen, but you have to listen! Or you might miss a hidden gem!