Artist: Lumber Lung
For people who like: Walls Of Jericho, La Dispute, Defeater
Lumber Lung is a hardcore band from Santa Barbara, CA. On their latest album, 2012, Lumber Lung proves that they are not your average hardcore band. Like their previous self-titled release, there are plenty of interesting riffs and well thought out song structures at hand. Although this time around Lumber Lung has become more democratic with their vocals, allowing for the other vocalist of the band to further spice up the mix. However, where 2012 triumphs in it’s unique sound as a whole, it struggles in it’s variety individually.
One feature about 2012 that makes it stand out is the consistent energy. It is a barrage of fast rhythms and blaring vocals throughout with little to no breaks. Although this is a double-edged sword in some ways, I won’t deny that it is something that keeps your attention and devotion to the music, but at the same time it also makes the album feel stale. It’s not only because the songs are so loud in a complicatedly similar manner, but also the lyrics often repeat phrases more than it is necessary. It makes many of the tracks hard to distinguish. This facet definitely makes 2012 a bit repetitive, but I don’t take an affliction such as this too seriously on a hardcore album. I can still enjoy these tracks, and I appreciate the existence of a uniform idea. That’s what a good album is all about, a persistent feeling.
Lumber Lung makes a ton of enjoyable tracks with their female lead vocalist. It’s a nice change of pace from most hardcore. Even among female vocalists of this genre, she still has a rare presence. I find it especially enjoyable when she decides to get really loud on tracks like “7.” She holds nothing back, and makes sure you remember everything that she says. Gotta love the amount of passion on this thing.
There are a ton of enjoyable quirks about 2012 on it’s seemingly genre-bending adventure. The beginning chord progression on “5” could be anything. I love how they take the most neutral of riffs at times and make them the most raw sounding thing you’ve ever heard. This album by all means would probably anger purists of punk or hardcore genre, but I say to hell with that. I think it’s best to create new sounds within the genre, and always reinvent things. There will always be classic hardcore bands, and bands that will stick to that sound, so I personally don’t fear change such as this.
All in all, Lumber Lung’s 2012 is a loud, enjoyable album that doesn’t cease in it’s energy. Although this album has a lot of great moments that feel new, I still think this album could be a lot better. The ideas that were paved on 2012 have a lot of potential, and I think with more time Lumber Lung will create a truly great release. This is okay for now, but I hope that they continue to try more new things and keep making their sound interesting.
7/10 (8/10 on a good day)
Favorite Tracks: 2, 5, 7