Tuesday, April 16, 2013

REVIEW: The Laurels - Plains

If you are one of the many pop music fans welcoming the resurgence or psychedelic shoegaze, Sydney, Australia's The Laurels are offering the next important installment.  Their debut album, Plains, was released in Australia last year, but it is getting its US release in advance of the band's appearance at Austin's Psych Fest later this month.  I can think of no better introduction than the opening track, the appropriately titled "Tidal Wave" --

What is evident from the music is that the brand of shoegaze performed by The Laurels is a good several notches upstream from the shoegaze standards in terms of complexity, variety and intensity.  The songs range from dreamy to menacing to drone psychedelia to stoner rock.  But the muscular guitars don't come at the expense of melody and a solid rhythm foundation.  Moreover, unlike the stage presence of original shoegaze bands whose onstage demeanor gave name to the genre, The Laurels are known as dynamic performers.  In fact, they once were nominated best live act in Australia.

The Laurels are Piers Cornelius (guitar and vocals), Luke O'Farrell (guitar and vocals), Conor Hannan (bass) and Kate Wilson (drums).  Plains is out now on the Rice Is Nice label.

Twitter ( @theelaurels )

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