Larry and His Flask - Hobo's Lament
Record Label: Paper + Plastick
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Larry and His Flask might be a name you’ve heard before. Hell, you might even already enjoy their brand of finger-plucking punk rock. But their latest collection of tracks, an EP by the name of Hobo’s Lament, is certainly to serve as a spike of energy regardless of your familiarity with the band. Six tracks of twangy, energetic punk rock make up Hobo’s Lament, giving us toe-tapping moments aplenty in what serves as a consistent but still quite refreshing journey. It’s up to you to decide what exactly this EP will remind you of, but the hints of bluegrass, blues and vaudevillian instrumentation make this a raucous of a musical adventure.
“Closed Doors” has a mischievous wisp about it, something that is reoccurring through this EP, sounding much like a pirate anthem if you will. But the stomping rhythms accentuated through guitars and drums alike play an addicting secondary to the hearty, often commanding voice of Ian Cook steering the ship into down home bliss. “Swing” furthers this vibe with a lively stomp and guitars, banjo and mandolin in full force – stopping at some point along the way for a horn-backed, churning pace up from a much more laid back bridge into the track’s bustling chorus. As far as missteps though, “Big Ride” has an interesting riff to say the least. Leaving it as the odd one out of the bunch as far as the tone of this EP is concerned, arguably making it the only skippable track of the bunch. It would be without regret though to say that there is plenty of fun to be heard here, but regardless of where you’re listening to Hobo’s Lament, it might be tough not to find some way to physically get into this – whether you're tapping your foot or the steering wheel.
There’s a softer side to be heard in smaller doses on the EP though, with ender “So Long” embodying a brighter, less rocking leniency as just a voice and electric guitar number through most of the instrumentation. It works just as well though even if it isn’t as immediately engaging as a horn and added group vocals sprinkle themselves for a quite delightful finish – even if it isn’t the big-top finish we were hoping for. The title track is toned down a bit as well, finding us stooped in acoustic guitars for a bit before sounding like a perfect track for the summer with a walking bass line and a popping rhythmic attack. It's a well-rounded sound though that doesn't run together too much, making the difference in vibe or tone from track to track not too jarring to push off of the trail this EP takes.
For having just released a full-length last year, it would be easy for Larry and His Flask to be trapped in stasis or even regress in their sound. But for something as bouncy, lively and enjoyable as this, I would be hard-pressed to believe they won’t have a hard time drawing back in any of those who might have seen them on this year’s Warped Tour – or attracting some new fans in the process.
Pretty good review for what I'm assuming to be a pretty great release. Can't wait to spin this one when I get home! I've been a fan of L&HF for a few years now, and their songwriting just keeps getting stronger...
These dudes are definitely our pride and joy, here in Oregon...just drove 15 hours to see them play with Frank Turner and Jenny Owen Youngs in LA (because they weren't coming to Oregon on that tour) and they stole the show, as always. The sound on this EP is vastly different than their other releases, but that isn't a bad thing...it definitely sets this apart. Good to have recorded versions of "My Name is Cancer" and "Swing," as they have been playing these live since I first started seeing them play tiny shows around the state.