It’s great to hear a post-hardcore/punk blend out of Italy, especially when it’s as moreish as LAGS‘ latest Soon. The album, a followup to their previous full-length Pilot, hones in on a practiced and passionate sound with only a few sore spots along the way.
Kicking off the album, Knives and Wounds comes out of the gate hitting hard. A heavy and vivid track that gets things going extremely well. There are a decent few little sonic licks and vocal inflections on the album that stick in the mind, starting with the rolling ending for this first track as well as the cry out of “We are knives and wounds.”
The lyrics on the album have this melancholic flavor, with moments of great aggression, whilst the sonic side of things keeps up a rolling aggression at most times, but does dip and flow with the vocals. The post-hardcore side of the band seems to meld quite well with an almost old-school post-punk flavor they inject under the surface of some tracks, they’ve got this Fugazi-reminiscent air about their sound. There’s that anger prevalent in their sound, mixed with tinges of sadness. It’s not something all together new, but a very inviting take on the genres. A great example of this mix is the track “The Bait,” where the track has this desperate melancholy to it, but both guitar and cymbals burst in as Antonio screams out “It’s over now.”
There’s a bit of repetition on some tracks throughout the album, which is often used quite well, however some tracks feel as though they would have greatly benefited with being cut just a little shorter. Showdown, and Second Thoughts, in particular run a bit long with what’s provided. Not to say they’re bad tracks, they’re still solid outside of this. To contrast that are tracks like Echoes, which, true to its name, also repeats out a phrase “I’m kneeling, and it’s killing me off, everything in my days is just misread.” But with the atmosphere of the track and what surrounds these moments it comes across quite a lot more effectively.
Capping off the album is a bonus track titled Il Podista, an Italian jam with LAGS’ flair on it. It’s an interesting way to cap off the record, but it fits quite well and is a nice sign of the band’s roots and identity. Even with the dark focus of the album on a mixture of rebellion and loss, it’s a very enjoyable listen, and Il Podista at the end is a solid bonus to it.
“We started a war, then we made art,” a rather powerful and frankly quite beautiful idea presented on the track “What It Takes,” is sign of the rather detailed thought the band took in writing this album. It’s not always hits, some sections come across a little awkward or generic, but they’ve got some amazing diamonds scattered consistently throughout Soon. As I mentioned at the start of the review, it’s quite a moreish album, listening to one track leads you to the next, it’s an enjoyable listen and a sign of great things to come for the band. There’s still places to improve, and Soon isn’t without it’s faults, but it’s definitely worth your time.
Give a listen to Soon below!