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LaGrecia - On Parallels Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 10
Musicianship 9.25
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9.5
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 9.75
Reviewer Tilt 9.75
Final Verdict: 95%
Member Ratings
Vocals 10
Musicianship 9.25
Lyrics 9.38
Production 9
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 9.75
Reviewer Tilt 10
Average: 95%

LaGrecia - On Parallels

Reviewed by: llmp (06/26/08)
LaGrecia - On Parallels
Record Label: Suburban Home Recordings
Release Date: June 24, 2008


It has been a while since I have scrounged up the motivation to sit down and write something that will possibly break two hundred views. Really, it was going to take a lot to get me started again; this is why it should come as no surprise as to what I’m going to say about this album. Go ahead and start preparing the complaints about the rating.

LaGrecia, originally On Guard, was founded by none other than arguably one of the best vocalists around in Jason Shevchuk. Anyone who has listened to his former band Kid Dynamite and the reanimated None More Black know what his incredibly distinct voice sounds like. That has not changed with On Parallels, LaGrecia’s album that has been released post-mortem. And yes, this band has already broken up. Those aforementioned people familiar with Shevchuk should not be surprised by this, as he was the reason for the demise of Kid Dynamite, as well as the brief break-up of None More Black.

For those who have listened to None More Black's This Is Satire, the sound of LaGrecia is really simple to describe. Think of the bouncier tracks such as “Under My Feet” and that is more or less what the entirety of On Parallels sounds like. This is a very good thing, but I’m not particularly concerned with None More Black fans; they’ve more than likely already ordered the album. So I’ll go ahead and quit with the comparisons.

Shevchuk’s vocals are really the key to this band. They are what I like to describe as a warbling snarl which ranges in ferocity without much warning. They take some getting used to; in fact, I despised them on my first listen to Kid Dynamite, which happens to now be one of my favorite bands. Which is why I always urge people to give his bands multiple listens before discarding them as terrible; it really is worth the time of a few extra listens. Lyrically, the album showcases an obviously world-weary person who is not embargoed by pessimism. No matter how depressing they seem to get, there is always a hint of hope, whether it be through the music or Shevchuk himself. It is difficult to get the exact lyrics as Shevchuk is not always easy to understand, but that is the general feel they give off.

The instrumentation mostly takes a backseat to the vocals, not that it is without its merits. It never gets very complex and retains the bouncy feel throughout, but the band still does a great job of switching things up. In fact, rarely do the songs sound similar to each other. The band are also not afraid to throw in something such as handclaps and gang vocals, and are smart enough to keep this to a minimum. This helps keep the album fresh from beginning to end; there really is not one point during listening to this album I am bored. I was surprised to find, after my initial listen of the album, the songs are actually fairly long by Shevchuk standards, with only two songs barely missing the three-minute mark.

LaGrecia are exactly the band I expected them to be. I am, however, surprised at how solid On Parallels turned out to be. If nothing else, LeGrecia is at least worth giving a couple of songs a listen. At worst, a whole three-minutes has been wasted. At best, there are now at least three great bands with numerous albums to look into.

It is difficult and presumptuous to say now, of course, but I could easily see this as eventually being Jason Shevchuk’s best work. Hopefully, he pushes forward with None More Black and proves me wrong. It really is a shame the band had to break-up even before the album was released. But as the record shows, it’s just the thing to expect when getting into a band fronted by Shevchuk.

Recommended if You LikeNone More Black, Kid Dynamite, Lifetime, Paint It Black, The Loved Ones

myspace.com/lagreciamusic
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 16
03:43 AM on 06/27/08
#2
versus_god
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It's nice to see this reviewed here! I've loved everything Jason's done and this album is no exception. Awesome stuff, can't wait to get my LP in the mail.
04:43 AM on 06/27/08
#3
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I'm loving this album. Nice to see it reviewed!
07:59 AM on 06/27/08
#4
ddb43
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I got it on itunes yesterday, and I have to say that it rocks. Shevchuk never dissapoints. All his bands are top notch. It's too bad LaGrecia didn't last long, but w/ NMB getting back together...does it really matter. This is Satire is in constant rotation on my ipod and so will On Parallels.
08:18 AM on 06/27/08
#5
llmp
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Good to hear this album is getting appreciated around here!

I'm loving the turnaround time on reviews..just submitted this a couple of days ago. Slightly better than two weeks. ;)

It's nice to see this reviewed here! I've loved everything Jason's done and this album is no exception. Awesome stuff, can't wait to get my LP in the mail.

Me neither, the cover art kicks ass as well.

Also their myspace page is, of couse, lAgreciamusic.
08:21 AM on 06/27/08
#6
CellarGhosts
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Good to hear this album is getting appreciated around here!

I'm loving the turnaround time on reviews..just submitted this a couple of days ago. Slightly better than two weeks. ;)



Me neither, the cover art kicks ass as well.
Yeah, I think with Chris Fallon working in this department now, the review time is shortened. which is good haha.

anyway, I figured I'd ask this since you're the reviewer here, but do the intros to "My Lightning" and "Two Shotguns" sound similar to you? they kind of do to me. not so much the whole songs themselves, just the beginnings.

either way, great album. Shevchuk never lets ya down haha.
08:31 AM on 06/27/08
#7
llmp
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Yeah, I think with Chris Fallon working in this department now, the review time is shortened. which is good haha.

anyway, I figured I'd ask this since you're the reviewer here, but do the intros to "My Lightning" and "Two Shotguns" sound similar to you? they kind of do to me. not so much the whole songs themselves, just the beginnings.

either way, great album. Shevchuk never lets ya down haha.

You're right, they do. Except for the drum on "My Lightning". With them right next to each other, you'd have to think it's intentional. I wish I had the lyrics.
08:34 AM on 06/27/08
#8
CellarGhosts
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You're right, they do. Except for the drum on "My Lightning". With them right next to each other, you'd have to think it's intentional. I wish I had the lyrics.
Yeah, I thought that to that with the songs right next to one another, it was intentional. Although, I've seen several different track listings for the album, so I'm not sure if they're arranged correctly or not.

But eh, not a big deal really.
11:34 AM on 06/27/08
#9
llmp
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Yeah, I thought that to that with the songs right next to one another, it was intentional. Although, I've seen several different track listings for the album, so I'm not sure if they're arranged correctly or not.

But eh, not a big deal really.

Oh really? This track listing is great, so I hope it's not changed in much.

So I'm guessing you like the new Gaslight? I was a little disappointed myself. It's still a good album, but nowhere near Sink or Swim. But I'll give it a little while to sink in before I set my mind on it.
11:56 AM on 06/27/08
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Oh really? This track listing is great, so I hope it's not changed in much.

So I'm guessing you like the new Gaslight? I was a little disappointed myself. It's still a good album, but nowhere near Sink or Swim. But I'll give it a little while to sink in before I set my mind on it.
Oh, never mind. I was mistaken haha. I saw it in the itunes store when I got the album artwork but I didn't have the songs listed by track number. that was why. so yeah, that's the official track order.

and yeah, I love The '59 Sound. I do agree that it's not as good as Sink Or Swim, but I wouldn't call it a disappointment. It's just different, I guess.
05:23 PM on 06/27/08
makeoutmags
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Saw them open for The Loved Ones and was definitely impressed. I'll have to give it a listen!
03:12 AM on 06/28/08
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Terrific album. Everything Shevchuk does, I am down with.
04:11 PM on 07/11/08
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Wow, I didn't know LaGrecia broke up already. I've been meaning to pick this up for a while, since Kid Dynamite is my favorite band.
05:41 PM on 07/21/08
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I got this today from a fellow fan of punk and the likes, burned to be honest. The artwork is enough to make me want to force myself to like it even if it turns out to be something I'm not really down with.
11:20 PM on 07/22/08
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Awesome review. Love this album.
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