LaFaro - Easy Meat (Smalltown America)

Trying to follow up last year’s self-titled debut with its frenetic guitar hooks and powerfully driven chords would be a difficult task for many a band, however, there is only one LaFaro, and they have managed to make a second record more chaotic and ferocious than we could’ve hoped.

Released Oct 19th, 2011 via Smalltown America / By Peter Clark
LaFaro - Easy Meat (Smalltown America) As soon as the sharp drumming of ‘Full Tilt’ begins to pulverise your head, you know you’re in for an unsteady ride of screaming, anguished vocals, break-neck speed playing, and a punk-rock attitude so tightly wound that you can feel the Belfast group figuratively spitting in your face. The thing that keeps your heart racing so fast is with how quickly they come and go, with the track over with just before you manage to grasp your breath back.

This is a familiar feel throughout pretty much all of the tracks on the record, always unsettling, but always vital for life at the same time. The track count may say 18, but really there are 11 genuine songs, with seven ‘interludes’ in between, ranging from feedback in the studio, to the guys yelling at each other. It’s a nice change to pad out the album to make it feel like an accomplished record, even if it does play havoc with the shuffle function on your mp3 player.

A song such as ‘Boke’ makes it clear to see the band’s progression from their debut, where the band built up songs and chords into a cacophony of guitars, with Easy Meat, there is no waiting, as the band lay siege from the start, and follow it all the way to the end.

‘Have A Word With Yourself’ and single ‘Easy Meat’ propel you towards the dancefloor, where you’re epileptic seizure type dance moves fit in just perfectly, coining the new dance craze of ‘LaFaroing’, maybe.

A criticism of the band could come about when they attempt their slower moments, as the vocals don’t really change too much, and it’s difficult to draw the appropriate emotion to match the lyrics, but then that’s why tracks like the misjudged ‘Maudlin’ or ‘Settle Petal’ are few and far between, and even for a slower track, it’s bloody loud!

Normal service soon resumes as LaFaro can’t seem to keep their inner demons in for long, and as ‘Slide On’ and ‘Meat Wagon’ help to push you over the edge in your exhaustive spasmodic dance moves, you can’t help but grin across your sweaty face as you hit play again on a record which fills you with enough teenage spunk that you do kind of just feel like lamping someone...but we won’t...probably.