Larry and His Flask - All That We Know
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Record Label: Silver Sprocket
The members of Larry and His Flask have seen their share of changes over the years. Originally starting out as a three piece punk group in 2003, the group experienced multiple lineup changes until suddenly revamping their sound to the form of what it is today. Hard hitting, fiercely bearded punk-bluegrass. Their latest album, All That We Know demonstrates their notion that just because the band’s selection of instrumentation has evolved. Their passionate abuse of those instruments can be as severe as ever.
ATWK comes out swinging from the first strum of “Land of the F(r)ee” and hardly takes a moment to breathe through the entirety of the album. The snare snaps with authority. However on tracks like “Flags and Concrete, Blood Drunk and Marked From the Start you get the feeling that rather than driving the rhythm, Jamin Marshall is doing all he can to keep the adrenaline pumped punk-grass collection from hurtling into a chaotic frenzy of mandolin and banjo shredding sessions. Dallin Bulkley, the former guitarist and current lead vocalist for the group does a terrific job of singing out his passionate vocals with authority and emotion such as on the previously mentioned and humorously titled track, “Land of the F(r)ee.” And the final tune “Slow it Down”.
The rest of the band members hold their own in top fashion and occasionally everything will come together like it does in “Manifest Destiny” which features everything you could hope for in a tune of this caliber. It opens with a thumping bass, giving way to a soaring trumpet portion and concluding with an enjoyable piano and cello duet.
It is no small feat when a band can point to an album and accurately say it is an honest depiction of the collective group’s personality. I believe this to be the case with ATWK which seems to capture the true dynamics of the band within the recording; The emotions, the intensity of a performance and the love for life. You can’t help but picture these guys smiling every moment on stage.
While one might notice these guys for their speedy folk rock, it turns out they can put out a decent slow tune as well. The track “Slow it Down” does just that as the band concludes on a calmer note without sacrificing any of their captivating charisma.
Some bands use their platform to promote an ideology, a religion, a movement but with Larry and His Flask, you get the impression they are just out to have a good time doing what they love and let the listener decide the rest for themselves.