LSP: Still – ep review
LSP – Still (self-released)
Louder Than War’s Ian Critchley reviews the new EP, Still, from Lancashire-based hardcore kids LSP.
It’s a very humbling feeling to know that something you’ve written has not only been taken on board, but has helped to transform a band into a much stronger unit. Or maybe I’m being presumptuous, but since my piece on LSP‘s first release, rip, this Accrington four piece have dropped the “Americanised” vocals (my only real criticism of an otherwise great first release) and implemented some of that wholesome Lancashire twang.
But to say that accent is the only way this band had progressed would be selling them short in the greatest way. Sticking with vocals, singer Nathaniel Dean has not only brought his own regional tone to the table but has seemingly pushed himself as a vocalist by leaps and bounds. His range has moved from limited to quite impressive, and the implication of hardcore styled guttural cries and groans gives a whole new raw edge to the sound, taking the band from the traditional “90’s emo” feel of their first and moving forward so much that it now makes it difficult to label the band as being any one single genre. More importantly, Nathaniel seems much more relaxed with this outing, experimenting with spoken word elements, ala La Dispute, and allowing his emotions to run wild to the point where he sounds as if he’s almost in tears. It’s a breath of fresh air to hear music with some genuine feeling for once.
Musically the band has smashed down all the boundaries set forth in their debut release. Leaving behind the restrictions of simply adhering to a style akin to American Football, and instead pushing that so far down the road it’s barely a dot on the horizon, LSP have taken that “emo” sound and meshed it with face melting hardcore and intensely intricate math rock. This has made the band have the curious “badge of honour” of now being far more relevant in today’s underground “hardcore” music scenes whilst also being one of the most original and talented musical forces within it.
Of course the record is perfect, and to a certain degree the production lets it down but this is only slightly and doesn’t take too much away from the songs. It isn’t bad by any stretch, I just feel as if it could be a little tighter. It should also be remembered though that this a relatively new group working on a budget of little to zero so, with that in consideration, the overall outcome of the record is quite impressive and is a clear indication that, when the band have made enough of a name for themselves (which I’m sure they will) to get enough financial backing to go that extra step in terms of production, they will be a force on record that could easily knock some of the more established “hardcore/emo” acts of today straight off their pedestals.
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.