Lasorda - Lasorda
Record Label: Clifton Motel Records
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Lasorda is a band of professionals. As with every bio and introduction, this one starts with a laundry list of the sextet’s many other projects, including such cultishly loved luminaries as The Get Up Kids, Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band, The New Amsterdams, and fun. This band’s members have some experience doing this music thing - now, they collectively try their hand at some very 2010’s pop fun.
That experience is the key factor on this self-titled effort, tweaking what could be yet another indie pop album into something a little more appreciable. Whatever else a would-be clever reviewer may say, it’s hard to fault the sturdiness of any song’s construction. The majority build and transition smoothly, comfortably; the last segment of each song is often the best, bringing tracks to an appealing and not wholly predictable endpoint.
Lasorda borrows from numerous current or recent fads quite effectively, most noticeably hitting the ever-more-popular 80’s chic of the 2000’s (“Echo in the Night” and “Basque on the Border”) and begging to soundtrack the next Apple or Amazon commercial (the Chairlift-reminiscent “Interlaid” and lead single “No Intent To Return”).
Similarities are usually of passing recognition, fortunately. This album is more fun than flawed, more pretty than ponderous. Few tracks come off as offensively rotel; they start simply, take a few quality turns, and finish in often satisfying and always ear-pleasing fashion. The pieces are familiar, but the construction just imaginative enough. The only ignominious exception is “Echo in the Night,” where the oft-prominent synth (I’d liken its better uses to Wolf Parade, at times) stumbles under its chintzy sheen.
Those pleasantly surprising turns are the real draw, each time teasing listeners just a bit further in. They’re there in the raunchy guitar that breaks up the twangy chorus of “Fivefivefourtwo” and in the sparse, dirty club outro of “Basque on the Borderline.” Even in the albums’ more hit-or-miss back end the deceptively ballad-like closer “His Laugh Is Lowe” throws a curve, finding one of the album’s handful of transcendent moments in the final, strummy dual-vocaled two minutes.
Lasorda didn’t blow up the genre or the blogs, a grab bag of other band’s parts made a grab bag album. They're interesting. They're promising - but they didn't quite hit it. It's worth dabbling with, though. Grabbing the right song is the key, and the "most right" would be the tranquil call and cathartic, skuzzy answer of “Of Little Faith.”