Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lara Hope And The Ark-Tones "Love You To Life"

(Crazy Love Records 2017)

Fast, Cheap, Or Well Done
Love You To Life
Callin' My Name
'Til The Well Runs Dry
I'm Yours
Dr. Bartender
This Is What I've Got
I'm The One
Working Man's Tools
Luckiest Girl In Town (The Wedding Song)
Hotel Yorba

Jaysus Lara will you cover up them legs like a good girl. You'll catch your death. A nice pair of sensible slacks is what you want in this weather. Well, well I never!
So, now that I've dished out some leg-related life lessons, it's time to talk shop. Us lads from the psychobilly brigade will be interested to note that the name "Ark-Tones" is in fact an amalgamation of the names of big slapper Matt's old psycho outfit The Arkhams and Lara's previous rockin' ensemble The Champtones. You're welcome! What? It's not like I got that nugget of information from merely reading the band bio on their website. Well, it is yes. And stop glancing at Lara's legs!! On to the music. I see on the sleeve notes that Lara won the Best Female Rockabilly Artist at the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Awards. (That nugget is also on the band bio on their website...just SHUT UP, right?). Anyway, to my ears, on this album at least, yes there are elements of rockabilly but they're no straight-up rockabilly act. They encompass a broad spectrum of styles which all come under the broader umbrella term of rock'n'roll. Fuck sake, this is going to look like all I've done is read their website! But the band is exactly what it says on the virtual tin. A fusion of all things rockin' and roots. This kind of thing plays havoc with my music database genre entries! Lara's warm yet powerful vocals suit the full sound of the band to perfection. Speaking of which, it's that full sound that leads them out of rockabilly territory and into rock'n'roll territory. The prerequisite slap bass, guitar and drums is fattened up with horn sections and some keyboards here and there. They stray into calypso-esque and country territory too. It's quite an eclectic album which is a good thing as I find rock'n'roll can get boring if it lacks variety. They've certainly packed the variety into this package. Lara Hope And The Ark-Tones are the kind of band that have that je ne se quoi which makes them appeal to aficionados of the retro world and the denizens of the modern world in equal measure. The album...on out now on Crazy Love Records.

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