Lakes – The Constance LP

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Friend Of Mine Records
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://ourbandlakes.bandcamp.com/album/the-constance-lp
Band Website: https://www.ourbandlakes.com

BAND LINE-UP:

Roberto Cappellina – Vocals & Guitar,
Matt Shaw – Drums,
Sam Neale – Vocals & Glockenspiel,
Rob Vacher – Guitar,
Gareth Arthur – Guitar
,
Charlie Smith – Bass.

TRACKLISTING:

1. Constance
2. Reindeer
3. Geneva
4. Placid
5. Ontario
6. Tahoe
7. Baikal
8. Lucerne
9. Como
10. Erie

REVIEW:

The DIY scene can have its trials and tribulations for many artists, but there is something decidedly blue-collar and earnest about the approach. You cannot have people claim that you are selling out, etc. if you’re paying for everything yourself just to get your music out! So it’s rather lovely coming across a band like LAKES who have literally done everything themselves to bring you “The Constance LP”, their debut.

What’s more, is that the album, despite some lyrical themes of heartbreak, toxic relationships and the other complexities of life, sounds like absolute sunshine. The shimmering indie-influenced melodies that adorn some of the math rock-like riffs and delightful vocal interplay make for a really rather beautiful album that won’t sound out of place at a summer BBQ. Couple this pleasantness with the fact the band, owing to having families of their own, organise child-friendly matinee shows in their locals around Watford, and you can’t not like them.

“Constance” opens the album, with vocalists Roberto Cappellina and Sam Neale harmonising over tinkling glockenspiel melodies and glittering guitar lines, setting the tone for what is to follow. “Geneva” slows things down a little, but augments this with a lovely shout-along chorus that latterly incorporates some sweet, rising strings that breathe an earthly life into the fold, whilst the hazy “Lucerne” works a touch of electronics into the mix during its final throes – an interesting, but no less cute touch. It’s a clever move and demonstrates the band’s wider influences without stapling them bloodily to the fold.

With all the strife that’s going on in the world, it’s rather enjoyable to be able to listen to some music that deals with tough times so delicately and joyfully. There’s even a little punk attitude that permeates the record, with the throaty-yet-pitched vocals that litter “Reindeer”. There are occasions when all the twinkling guitar lines can blend into one somewhat, but as a DIY effort, you can forgive LAKES for ploughing their own furrow. It’s fortunate then that those aforementioned brushes with variety offer some relief, whilst keeping things ticking along.

“The Constance LP” might rank as amongst the sweetest little listens on the underground circuit this year. It’s a fun, down-to-earth listen from start to finish, all while encompassing a delicate balance of some choice wider genres into a fine indie rock mix. LAKES may not be a massive name outside of Watford, and maybe a little too “math-y” for mainstream rotation at present, but their debut is well worth your time. Why not enjoy this on a hazy summer afternoon with some friends by your local body of water (while the sunshine lasts)?

REVIEW BY LEE CARTER
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