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CD Feature/ Lawn: "Silver"

img  Tobias

Most of the time, Rock is all about loosing sense of time. Conjuring up a maelstrom of spikey Guitar riffs, edgey Bass bumps and tumultous Drum energy, it makes you forget the inescapable pulse of the clock and the merciless march of the hands as they slowly tick off what remains of your pithy mortal lifespan. Lawn, however, are unafraid of facing this fearful truth. Instead of rushing from verse to chorus and back again or cluttering every single second of their tracks with information, the tracks of this Dutch fourpiece develop without the typical functional unrest of comparable productions: Where there was bustle, there now is a focus. Their courage has leant a natural breath to their their music and injected a quality into its veins few other bands can stake a claim to: An invitation to immerse yourself completely in a song.

It is a subtle gesture, but it makes all the difference. For despite their wilfully idiosyncratic approach, Lawn are still very much a Rock band. Their electricity is sourced from sound-made sexual desires, confusion, pain, fury, elation and dreams that can not possibly come true – all of the topics, therefore, the genre traditionally derives its inspiration from. Tracks like passionately boiling „The Sea“ or the sinister groove of acerbic anthem „Yesteryear“ reveal their roots in dark, ambitious songwriting, while Metal quotes on the one hand and romantic moments on the other delineate the outer extremes of their cosmos. If the story behind their birth is true, then Lawn met at concerts by The Smashing Pumpins and Motorpsycho and even though their sound owes preciously little to these two formations, they share their absolute will to tell the same old tale like it has never been told before.

As such, it can come as no surprise that Lawn consider the song a flexible format. At times, they will jump straight into the action without any kind of introductory foreplay. At others, they will circle their themes with predatory intent before jumping in. And while the lyrical directness of the vocals is usually at the heart of the action, some tracks only pick up momentum when the voices have been silenced, the leadsingers gone home and the music slowly grinds to a halt as though it were playing itself. You can still sense their former background in Stoner Rock, the slowly trudging funk and riff-affinity in some of the pieces here, but it has died down to a faint glow. Electronica, too, has found a way into the granite-like fabric of the songs, adding depth and detail to the otherwhise soberly orchestrated textures without turning into the focal point itself. The possibilities of the digital recording studio have not passed Lawn by, but the band have restricted themselves to creating rich and dynamic spaces for the Drums and finely nuanced walls of distortion for the brotherly sonoroties of founding members Job en Titus van 't Veer.

It is certainly true that it takes some time to fully appreciate „Silver“. It is not participating in the race for the loudest, most explicite or intimate album of the year and the spiralling melodies require attentive listenting to unfold their full potential. Even though first single „Downstream“ dances on the surf of razorsharp Guitar walls, it is the group's carefully dosed restraint which impresses most here: The band are allowing their songs to breathe and float, for silence to infiltrate the cracks and for the listener to fill in the missing blanks with his own imagination. When Lawn really want to, they can conjure up the same aggressive maelstrom of spikey Guitar riffs, edgey Bass bumps and tumultous Drum energy many of their colleagues consider the actual essence. But mostly, they are happy savoring the grapes of time, as they turn from mere ideas into ripe sonic juice over the course of spinetinglingly sensual songs.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Lawn
Homepage: Make My Day Records

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