23 Oct 2018
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

L.A.B. - Album Review: L.A.B

12 Dec 2017 // A review by Lora Thompson

Needless to say I have seen these boys play live and had long anticipated the release of the self-title album from L.A.B.


The band is an all-star line up with Brad and Stu Kora (Kora) and Ara Adams-Tamatea (Katchafire), and also fronted by none other than Joel Shadbolt (previously ofBatucada Sound Machine).

If those names already didn't give you an indication of the vibe, sound and calibre of the record, it was also co-produced by Dr Lee Prebble (Fly My Pretties and The Black Seeds), along with Brad Kora himself.


After gigging live and perfecting all of these songs over 3 years they have really refined them and worked hard on this record which really shows – they are not wrong when they say that this album 'wears it's influences unapologetically on it's sleeve' – in the next few paragraphs I think I will probably cover at least 10 genres – but that's seriously how this record felt – So diverse I really didn't know what was coming next, in yet it seemed to flow and every single track sparkled with a fresh and original vibe to it as well. 


The opening track She's Gone is a 7 minute long atmospheric epic jam, I definitely hear some Dire Straits, Funkadelic or Pink Floyd inspired licks there straight away – though as a guitarist/guitar nerd this album delivers in that way throughout all the tracks.


From track number two we kick into the singles, first up the catchy track Starry Eyes – a song about slaving and grinding and maybe a little bit of exploitation? - I can see why this track was chosen as a single due to its catchy dance beat and simple, effective structure. Also, they released it with a really cool animated lyric video .


Next up is Jimmy Boy, which is a strong reggae track with a massive sounding bass line. This track is the sound of NZ summer – made to be cranked through a big sound system.


At number 4, we have the most recent single Umulash – a new word to convey a pretty clear lyrical message. Brad's drum choice here is a beat with a huge kick sound and a snare that's almost industrial sounding, definitely bringing those vibes of early Kora. I loved the sound of this track straight away.


Towards the middle of the record they bust out the acoustic for some mellow jams on The Watchman , another progressive 5 minute track which builds into a guitar heavy jam with some more rock and soul vibes. I wish it sounded as heavy as I have heard it live, though there are some sneaky China's and guitar shreds coming in towards the end.


The next couple of tracks Oh No and Controller tell a story lyrically – while a little bit darker than some of the previous tracks, Oh No is a catchy classic NZ dub/reggae jam thats sure to take off.

I hadn't previously heard Controllerbefore and after doing this review I think its my new favorite track – its a really synth heavy - R&B ballad which really show cases Joel's vocal range which brings a little bit of a tear to the eye.


The next track, a crowd favorite Ain't No Use – Almost some George Clinton (parliament, Funkadelic) or Sly and the Family Stone vibes here. I would recommend this track to fans of 70's Funk/Soul. It's a simple track with a flawless mix.


They finish off the album with Love Will Save Me, Sweet Water (Which is obviously a longer version or a remix of the song they released as Starry Eyes - worth a listen), Oldman and Lonely Man ; the last two of which are both wicked guitar driven Blues-influenced tracks .


If we had stars on this site, I would give this album 5 out of 5 stars.


The band are on tour this summer, with some huge gigs coming up at Rhythm N Vines, Northern Bass, Out of the Blue Festival and Electric Avenue Festival as well as some Free gigs presented by LOOP and Corona Sunsets in Mount Manganui, Whitianga, Christchurch and New Plymouth among others. 


More info on tickets can be found via their Facebook Page.



Review written by Lora Thompson

 

About L.A.B.

The pedigree and musicianship of L.A.B. is undeniable.

L.A.B. was founded by the legendary Kora brothers Brad (drums) and Stu (guitar, keys) and quickly engaged the extraordinary talent of Joel Shadbolt on lead vocals & guitar and Ara Adams-Tamatea from the mighty Katchafire on bass.

The L.A.B. sound is one which has seen them quickly become a fan favourite on the New Zealand live circuit – trademark Kora grooves combining with Adams-Tamatea’s reggae/dub experience, and Shadbolt’s blues roots to create a sound entirely their own. Each member brings their own individual styles to the table, and the result is an eclectic mix of reggae, electronic, blues, funk, and reggae, even heading into country at points.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for L.A.B.

Releases

L.A.B.
Year: 2017
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Lora Thompson

Festival Review: Homegrown 2018
10 Apr 2018 // by Lora Thompson
It was a cloudy yet thankfully calm Saturday in beautiful capital city when we arrived at the waterfront at 1pm. After collecting my pass, the first stop was up-and-comers Dead Favours on the Rock Stage.
Read More...
Tunes of I - Single Review: Kiss the Sky
04 Nov 2017 // by Lora Thompson
Wellington dub-rockers Tunes of I just never stop. After a crazy couple of years touring their debut album Restless, they're back with the first single off what will be their third release, and EP called Wicked Ways – due for release on the 17th November.
Read More...
Merrin - Album Review: 1
12 Oct 2017 // by Lora Thompson
From first listen, Merrin's 1 has evolved in leaps and bounds from their earlier singles Sin and Mr Dominant the band are now bringing a much heavier and refined hard rock feel than their previous work. The Album begins with the newest single Durty Little Secret and quickly and easily segways into the heavier, riffier Burn it Up.
Read More...
The Black Seeds - Album Review: Fabric
26 Sep 2017 // by Lora Thompson
Fabric (Released September 2017) is the 6th Full-length studio offering from Wellington-based band The Black Seeds – and the 12 track album certainly does not disappoint. The band have been around since 1998, with their Global Breakthrough album generally considered to be their 2006 release Enter the Dojo.
Read More...
Ryan Kershaw - Single Review: Inspiration
10 Jun 2017 // by Lora Thompson
As I downloaded this track to begin listening I really had no idea what to expect. Actually that's a lie,I had heard a few of Ryan's previous offerings – Little Green Dragon (2008), The Lunar Sea (2011) and The Buzz Tapes (2012) - So based on this I expected an awesome display of guitar, and that's exactly what I got – one of NZ's best and highly under-rated guitarists.
Read More...
The Nukes - Album Review: III
01 Apr 2017 // by Lora Thompson
I have had the pleasure of reviewing the full-length album III by NZ's original Ukulele Trio – The Nukes. Dave Parker, David 'Snapper' Thiele, and Ben Collier are a power-trio of NZ music's finest – former credits include Goldenhorse, Rhythm Cage and The Parker Project – as well as Thiele's extensive contribution to the local music community through Kiwi FM.
Read More...
Poison Skies - EP Review: Day to Defy
23 Nov 2016 // by Lora Thompson
The debut EP Day to Defy from Poison Skies delivers a familiar pop-punk kick while nailing their powerful and catchy sound. The EP begins with their upbeat single Eighty Six, leading into the heavier half-time thrash of Stop and Breathe – The catchy, melodic chorus in this second track provides a stark contrast against a well-orchestrated wall of noise.
Read More...
Electric Wire Hustle - Album Review: The 11th Sky
22 Oct 2016 // by Lora Thompson
Wellington Electro-Soul outfit Electric Wire Hustle released their 3rd album The 11th Sky on September 30th2016. EWH first appeared in the public eye with their self titled album in 2009 , and since then have also released Love Can Prevail in 2014 which was a world wide success that saw the band achieve some Cult Fame in the UK and Europe.
Read More...
View All Articles By Lora Thompson

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • SHOTGUN
    George Ezra
  • EASTSIDE
    Benny Blanco feat. Halsey And Khalid
  • HAPPIER
    Marshmello And Bastille
  • BE ALRIGHT
    Dean Lewis
  • I LOVE IT
    Kanye West And Lil Pump
  • BETTER
    Khalid
  • ZEZE
    Kodak Black feat. Travis Scott And Offset
  • PROMISES
    Calvin Harris And Sam Smith feat. Jessie Reyez
  • FALLING DOWN
    Lil Peep And Xxxtentacion
  • GIRLS LIKE YOU
    Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem