Label: Big Scary Monsters
Watford post-emo six piece Lakes are the most recent signings to one of my favourite labels Big Scary Monsters and ‘Start Again’ is their first record in their new home. After intro track ‘Blind’ warms you up with hammered chords on the guitar and sweetly played xylophone sparkling over the top, ‘No Excuses’ is where the album really takes off. The math-rock style fretwork of the lead guitar goes hand in hand with the rhythm guitar with it’s beautifully joyous chord progressions. The drums and bass are inventive enough to add an extra push to the songs yet they never feel overdone. Robert Cappellina and Blue Jenkins are the real stars here with their vocal harmonies. Sharing the bulk of the melodies between them, it creates another beautiful reason to give your attention to ‘Start Again’.
With the guitars rarely using distortion or overdrive, it speaks to the songwriting of Lakes that they don’t need to rely on effects to mark the switch between verse and chorus. Instead they save the heavy playing to make the big moments even more momentous such as the end of ‘Mirrors’ which just grows in sound until it towers over you. ‘Peace’ is another song that grows like a tidal wave. Starting with Jenkins vulnerable vocals and a subdued backing with sparing lead guitar twinkling over the top. The last minute sees the track develop in to a soaring beast that still manages to maintain all of the post-emo and pop elements that Lakes have mastered.
It’s hard to pick out stand out tracks here with the whole album being a gorgeously played pop/post-emo record. With a raw production that only brings the emotion and closeness to the forefront, Lakes have already got an album in ‘Start Again’ that sees a band in their stride. Pick up the album and familiarise yourself with your new favourite band.