Album Review

Larry and His Flask - By The Lamplight

Released June 25, 2013
Chad W. Lutz
As I listened to By The Lamplight I got the feeling I wasn't in Kansas anymore. Typically when I pick up an album for review, within the first few songs I have an idea of the genre and work through the history of the band enough to sort of get a feel for who they are and the message they're trying to put out into the universe. But there was so much going on in the sophomore release by Larry and His Flask it took a couple of listens before I could fully appreciate everything the album had to offer.

Larry and His Flask are here to start a party and set fire to your eardrums. The otherwise hard rocking, fast-paced album slows down for two acoustic tracks in the middle and toward the end of the album but picks right back up to blister away in the unique and highly entertaining style Larry and His Flask offer for the rest of the LP. Elements of ska and true punk are also continuously hinted at by the band's thrashing style. The breakneck pace of the music slows occasionally on couple of the latter tracks almost as a tease and creates a delectable palette of time signatures enough to make you wanna whip out the whiskey and start lighting shit on fire. By The Lamplight is party (riot) music.

My first impressions were mixed. The first half of the album sounded like Mr. Bungle meets Deliverance, and by the end of the 12-track LP I heard everything from The Dropkick Murphy's, Sublime, and The Grateful Dead. The songs are electric and driving and feature a mountain-man ode to bluegrass with a city-slicker punk-ass kicker. Numerous tracks on By The Lamplight feature the banjo almost exclusively, but the eerie, pinprick style of electric guitar work almost synonymous with the early 90s in bands like Mr. Bungle, Primus, and Fungus Amongus-Incubus shoots its way into bridges, choruses, and melodies throughout.

The blending a variation of styles and genres creates a sound not-quite-like any other on the market today. From the delivery to the sound, Larry and His Flask mean business. It may be the lyrical content dotted with zealous lovers and days gone by, or simply the grit-tough rough sounding lead vocals that blend seamlessly with four-part harmonies, another rarity in today's modern music scene that set this band apart from any other in my mind. Either way, I want whatever Larry has chilling in his flask.