01. Dragons
02. Life Is Life
03. River Venom
04. Waves Are Crashing
05. Gallows
06. Friends Are Flowers
07. A Promise
08. Catcher
09. Girls Say Yes
10. Love Is Sick And Wrong

[Fullstream Records]

When searching for new music it is not always a good idea to pick something out on a whim. There are an endless amount of bands out there, making countless hours of music, and only so much can be worthwhile. However, when the bands you’ve fallen on for years and years continually let you down over the first quarter of a new year, sometimes the unknown is exactly what one needs to re-spark that energy and love of music that is so important to people in this line of work. Enter Lapko, a finnish alternative rock band whose latest release seemingly fell into my hands from thin air, as it were. I can’t recall who turned me onto them, but my disinterest in most things metal as of late propelled me to listen to their latest album, ΓΟΛΕ (henceforth referred to as LOVE), and it was the perfect thing for this cynical little man in a time of need.

It is pretty hard to nail down the specific sound of Lapko; their music ranges from typical alternative rock ala Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace, all the way to bombastic, and hauntingly sweet progressive rock tunes similar to 3 or Fair to Midland. Sometimes the band manages to sound like Iron Maiden, and other times they sound like straight up cock rock, especially on songs like ‘Friends are Flowers’ where the vocalist proclaims, “all you need is ice cream, flowers, and pussy.” Whatever this band is the music on LOVE is something that will take you for a ride. Everything exudes a distinct tone and emotive feeling. The drums are intense and sporadic, without delving into the schizophrenic, whereas the bass is a constantly rumbling storm, adding a foreboding edge to the music, and occasionally sparking through like a great flash of lightning. Lead guitar and vocals are handled by front-man Ville Maljas, whose playing and soulful voice makes you want to get up on your feet and jump to the sound of his powerful, melodic riffs. Every sound on this album is captured perfectly; every beat of the drum, bellow of a voice, or strum of a guitar is loud, clear, and in your face, almost daring you to not have fun.

On first listen, LOVE is an album that feels very familiar. It’s music that evokes everything that rock n’ roll is suppose to evoke from a listener. It’s an album that feels very much like something that should be playing on every hard rock radio station, but is instantly too much for those doldrums of musical wasteland. With the catchy riffs and choruses sang from a place of beauty and power, LOVE is music that  gets your blood pumping and makes you want to bang your head. This band makes you want to smash windows and make love to the dame next door. It’s an experience that harkens back to a simpler time for music, where instead of trying to cram as much random shit into the music as possible, the band focuses on writing really great, and focused songs that evoke a strong mental and emotional image in the music. On each song Lapko takes the listener through a journey and a ride that has a clear purpose.  It’s powerful music with a concise message. No meandering allowed.

As far as new releases go, LOVE was definitely a pleasant surprise. I may be a little grumpy towards the current releases coming from the metal-verse, but I’m not all doom and gloom. Luckily for me I was able to stumble upon quite the gem with Lapko’s latest album, and with nearly thirteen spins under my belt, it’s already my most listened to album of the year. The music on LOVE covers all basis, and for those willing to delve into its depths and experience something new, like I was, there’s sure to be something for you.  Oh, and Axl, while this isn’t an all together “feel good” album, I think this is the album you need to be rocking this summer. Cheers!

Lapko – ΓΟΛΕ gets…


– EC


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