WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM BY CURSE OF LONO – PEOPLE IN CARS
Curse of Lono are an alternative rock band from London. Slow, melodic harmonies and almost spoken vocals create a chilled-out area to listen to.
People in Cars is the band’s third proper album (excluding the live album), and it demonstrates a very solid foundation and groove the band fits into. Bringing together the straight drum beats, lax vocals and spacey, effected guitars, they really found the niche.
Starting out with “Let Your Love Rain Down On Me” the album sets off going with all the elements seen throughout. Really spaced-out melodies, simplistic drums, and muttered vocals. The vocals in this song are excellent, combining the relaxed and miserable feelings with perfection. Something the track misses out on is a solid bass line, it seems to be either too low in the mix or just not there at all. While this does lend itself to the empty feeling of wanting to be portrayed, I feel it would absolutely benefit from at least a sparse bass.
One of my favorites off this album is “Man Down” as it perfectly brings out the melancholic emotion perfectly. With minimal instrumentation and soulful lyrics and soft vocals, it allows the emotion to pour out like a river. A slight build-up over the song makes it all so much more impactful, especially in the choruses, with the key line “man down” referencing that feeling I mention.
Switching the vibe, next is “Steppin’ Out” with a bit more of a bouncy drum beat, a little more of a jolly guitar part, and more optimistic lyrics. Even though the vocals are a lot deeper and seem a bit more jarring, the lyrics bring us back to the hopeless optimism. There are elements of country-esque slide guitars in the background of this track, which somehow fit seamlessly into the mix.
“So Damned Beautiful” makes use of Tess Parks for vocals. Mimicking the vocals found throughout the album, she delivers her parts with the half-spoken, half-sang smooth words. The dynamic between the two works very well and Tess Parks does fantastic to fit excellently into the band. They make fantastic use of her with, not only backing in the choruses but her sections in verses and a jump back and forth between the two.
Closing out this album is a 9-minute experience called “Timeslipping”. Going through a few major sections, pulling together the parts of each of the songs before it. It is seriously one you have to listen to at least once, it is, as I said, more of an experience than a song. It has the movement and feels of a movie with rises and falls and harsh emotions coming out.
Overall, this album has a great set of songs within. Although they don’t stray far outside the set pattern and tend to keep to similar styles, it seems to be working. And if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. I would definitely like to see what this band would do if they branch out a bit more and try out some new instrumentation, vocal styles, etc. But for now, they have their formula and are sticking to it. Definitely check it out if you have an opportunity as it is something I’ve not heard a lot like.