Australia - Full Moon 109 - 08/19/05
Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne, AUS, 22.7.05
Dunno why, but there are a load of instrumental bands doing the rounds in Melbourne. Obviously there are hundreds more boring-as-piss rock 'n' roll wannabies too, but the number of instrumental acts is notable. And Laura have received a great deal of attention.
Their debut album Mapping your dreams was released last year to mild critical murmurs of approval, and they've been playing live on a regular basis for a good while. But only now have I had the chance to see what all the fuss is about.
It's immediately apparent what the appeal is: Laura make a bloody gorgeous noise. The amassed wall of sound created by twin electric guitars, bass, drums, synth and cello is thick, satisfying and occasionally very moving. At the climax of their first song I was just about ready to declare them the best band ever.
But, sadly, after forty minutes of the same-old same-old it also became apparent how difficult it is to sustain interest when the essential elements vary so little. There was some lovely guitar work, but overall they didn't do much with that gorgeous wall of sound other than build it up and knock it down again. And they even did the predictable white noise finale.
There's an undeniable power to Laura's music, but it's not being wielded as intelligently as it could be. It's a shame to hear a band with such a lovely sound fritter it away in clichés. Perhaps, given time, they will develop into a band to love.
Copyright © 2005 Tim Clarke