Los and The Deadlines
Watch It Fall
International squadron have had a busy touring schedule and past; hardly surprising given their live reputation and stunning sonic palette.
Watch Me Fall is available at:
The E.P. Metro Talk is available via:
The comingling and blending of different nationalities within a…
band can either be seen as low-yield bonds; a risky experiment, or a bold and daring move. I have been moaning on- well protesting- about the homogenous nature of bands in today’s scene. Too often; whether a group is from the north, south or wherever; the members of said groups tend to be from the local area: all too tend to be of similar race, age and background. I can understand the reticence with regards to mixing foreign cuisines. Even if the amuse-bouche seems to be a wise concoction, strains can occur over time- if the members are from different walks of life. It is a myopic mistake that has probably starved the world of some great music and excitement. Terrific legendary bands have always mixed international sounds into their albums and songs; and a lot of great new bands coming through have struck a golden chord. Recently I have been privy to reviewing the sounds of HighFields: a band whom has a great mixture of nationalities. In that illustrious group, members hail from the likes of Norway, Jersey, South Africa, Canada and Singapore. It is not a coincidence that the music that they are producing is some of the best of the moment. When you draw in a diverse and wide-ranging influence of sounds into your group whole; the results can be as exciting and diverse as any of the best bands of all time. Where as the majority of new bands have a set format: meet at school/college/a local bar; gig together and form friendships; cement your band. This is the bedrock for the band formation paradigm; where groups of friends whom live near one another, form a common bond; and decide to bring their music to the masses. Great results have been seen from this mould, and the friendships, kinships and close ties that bond the members can enforce a strengthened unit and lead to a harmonious working relationship. When you consider the task that falls at the feet of the band mixing foreign members: will cultural differences enhance the sounds or cause frictions? How will relationships go, and will they last? Will we have similar musical tastes? If you consider all of this; these types of questions can be stumbling blocks. Groups such as The Mars Volta have mixed American and Puerto Rican heritages into their sound; I have seen London-based bands mix European and Australian players together; as well I have heard of Irish groups with Scottish members. The abiding sense I get from these variegated bands is this: the music seems more vital and authoritative. There is rarely a need to fit into a preconceived local scene; nor play to expectations or parody another band- in the hope that that will equate to success. Countries, ecosystems, economies and communities always thrive and grow stronger and more assiduous. A blend of differing histories and experiences can help improve a person’s outlook on life; and teach them a lot that they didn’t know before. If you apply this approximation to music, then the same is true. Different genres and band influences are brought to the party; points of views tend to be more unique, and a sense of galvanisation is formed within the group.
Los and The Deadlines, cool name aside, that mix eclectic sounds and- as they attest on their official website- bring “ear-soothing” as well as “ear-pounding” sensations to your brain. The boys; consisting of vocalist and guitarist Alex LoSardo; guitarist Niels Bakx, bass player Agostino Collura; and drummer Alberto Voglino. Having formed back in 2011, success and demand came about pretty quickly. The group have played some pretty prestigious venues including The Southbank Centre and the O2 Millennium Dome. If one were to hint at why the band enjoyed such a steady projection to prominence, one should attend one of their shows. Noted for their high-energy and lively performances, the group have a stellar reputation in the live arena, bringing their music alive and giving people their money’s worth. Looking at photos of the band, and you get a sense that they could be a ’90s Grunge band or modern-day U.S. band like The Foo Fighters. Beards, cool hair and sharp fashion are hallmarks of the four-piece; whom project a breezy and casual vibe- making them more approachable and fascinating. Little is know about the individual members, in terms of their origins and musical tastes; but the sounds elicited by the quartet have warranted some heady comparisons. As well as counting them amongst their influences, the boys have been compared to the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, The Mars Volta and Foo Fighters. James Brown and Rage Against The Machine are also idols for the group- highlighting what diverse tastes they have. Being a fan of The Mars Volta, I have been surprised at how few new bands are inspired by them, and aim to infuse their sounds with that of the progressive rock legends. Between all of the influences I have mentioned, an abiding sense of passion, energy and high-octane intrigue are common; each has a way of getting into your brain and unleashing a psychotropic sense of wonder and potency. Similarly Los and The Deadlines have those objectives. Drawing all of their various idols together, as well as assembling their different nation’s sounds and styles into the pot; the resultant sound is one that is unique and exhilarating- bursting with flavours and wonderful avenues. The chaps are based in London and have been bringing their mandates and manifestos to the capital over the last few days and weeks; as well as planning for a busy future. Last year, the E.P. Metro Talk was release, and met with huge acclaim and adulation. The five-track release showcased the band’s strengths and ambitions, and has ensured that they have a growing legion of fans. Over Facebook more than 2,000 people ‘like’ the band; they have over 200 Twitter followers, and an army of supporters from far-flung places and cities alike; all intoxicated by the band’s keen chops and electric kicks.
Having achieved a modest amount of views on YouTube, the video for Watch It Fall details a collection of clips from the band’s gigs; fondly looking back on the wonders and achievements of 2012. If the video has not pulled in too many views (just yet), the song itself has been warmly received; and is not a surprise to see why. The initial few seconds mix The Mars Volta and Queens of the Stone Age. There is a great deal of the former’s experimentation and winding electric guitars; as well as the latter’s current-day bold experimentation and brutalisation. Before the vocal storms in, a frantic firestorm of arpeggio guitar is unwound, and the relentless pace and sense of danger lingers over the track. With the front-man imploring: “Give ’em more”, backed by twiddling and twirling guitars: part Red Hot Chilli Peppers; part The Mars Volta-cum-Grunge, it is a pulsating sound that keeps the tension high. This is augmented by bass and percussion, which, when combined, strike and storm with maximum intensity and intention. Where as certain bands like The Mars Volta and progressive rock bands, tend to employ lyrics that are oblique, Byzantine and surreal; Los and the Deadlines are more direct. Themes of the unusual are in there too; but messages such as “Buy it all for a bit of hope” strive for a more emotive punch. As the players play- mixing brute force with some endeavouring, channelling undertones- a chorusing of “Right…left…right!” is chanted; with militaristic force and power. As much as there are touches of the U.S. pioneers in the guitar work, the overall sound and style of the track is more rooted elsewhere; modern-day U.K. as well as Europe. With some disgruntled and desert-infused tonnes of Josh Homme, our front-man has some Californian notes, but his voice is more forceful and swaggering, with a bolder kick to it. Where as the QOTSA leader- now at least- is favouring some delicate falsetto as well as filth-ridden/sexy-as-hell vibes, our leader here- and the band as a whole- have punk edges that injects Watch It Fall with sharper teeth. It is perhaps their riffs, and sonic detours that are most impressive. The percussion remains forceful and persistent throughout; employed with great power and drive; yet the guitar and bass lines snake, twirl, rush and roll in all sort of ways. It shows an endeavouring and ambitious creative mind at work, when a band can create a multi-part and highly mobile number, that does not lose its focus or gravity. When the chorus erupts- probably the most apt word- the band burst at the seams; our hero practically steroidal as a whirlwind of sound augments thoughts such as “You say it’s my fault”. With some foreboding scenes and some nervy protestations our protagonist yells: “I’ve seen everything”- his pipes awash with gravel, grit, gasoline, gin and barbed wire. The chanted and punched coda, is a weapon that is deployed again more extensively after the 2:00, providing a sea change that sees a shift to the darker and more hypnotic. The backing is still bustling and alive with static and sparks; and once the vocal chants have erred, those threads rolls and tumble: guitar, bass and drum build up and down; up and down, hinting at some progressive rock edges. As a whole the song very much has an anthemic tone. Certain sections are chant-worthy; whilst the ever-mobile nature of the music keeps you hooked and invested. I hope that the band get into the studio and release an L.P. soon. Songs such as Watch It Fall would benefit from some crisper production and polish. It would nice to hear Alex’s vocals in better clarity, slightly higher and crisper in the mix. If you listen to an album such as ‘… Like Clockwork’, the incredible songs are boosted and given breath by the terrific production and a bit of polish, and Los and The Deadlines’ tracks would gain a similar majesty, with some of those consideration. Watch It Fall is a solid and compelling track. Vocals are domineering and enflamed; as well as being impassioned and potent. Guitar, bass and percussion are consistently sharp and fascinating. Each member is tight and powerful; infusing a huge amount of force and wonder into the track. Lyrics are sharp and interesting and kept focused and literal- for the most part- making the words meaning more tangible and relevant. As a whole the song trips and fights through various shifts and phases; winding and biting at various intervals, that will surely win over the most stubborn music fan.
My point about multi-nationality and variation within a band is proven here. The various backgrounds and personalities do not juxtapose or devise one another; they blend seamlessly and brilliantly, to create a stronger whole. Los and The Deadlines are a tight and memorable band, and on the strength of the remaining tracks off of Metro Talk, I am not shocked that they have such a following. It will be great to see where the boys go from here, as they have a huge arsenal and range to experiment with. Whether they stick with the stoner rock/prog. rock leanings (with those Grunge and punk edges), or employ some more melodious edges is yet to be seen. As the likes of Josh Homme’s crew have demonstrated so deftly, is that revisiting the past as well as toying with mood and melody, mingling sweet balladry with sex-laden jams can result in a stunning record. It would be great to see our boys go the same way; stick to the sound they have cemented, but incorporate some other key elements into the fray; augmenting and emphasising what they are duly capable of. It is not a band that is dominated by the front-man; it is a democracy that has meritocratic and egalitarian values, where each of the members is equal. This shared affection and consideration is clear in the music, and it is rare to hear a band that are so confident. A goldmine will be struck when a group can mine and create the sounds of the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, The Mars Volta, and make it sound like their own. Los and The Deadlines are very close, and if they continue down the path they tread, and grow in confidence, then we could have a band that can stand alongside the U.S. giants; which is sorely needed in a climate that is dictated by mediocrity. Take a gander at the quartet’s songs and it will give you a sense of a young band that are hungry for longevity and success. Should the lads keep their head and focus their sights, very much into the distance, then they will be creating some cracking songs for a long while. Too often great bands have been passed over, in favour of the inconsistency of the mainstream. It is with the power of social media, and a continued following…
THAT the four-piece will be able to prove how good they truly are.