Lark - The Last Woman - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lark - The Last Woman

by Warwick Stubbs Rating:5 Release Date:2018-07-06
Lark - The Last Woman
Lark - The Last Woman

A beat, grinding underscore of distorted bass synthesised or over-distorted, and uninteresting guitars popping up here and there. This is just the first song ‘Dowdy’, the music has an Industrial soundscape at times but there is very little substance and seems to straddle drone and weirdness without much luck. 'John Berger’s Wild Shirt’ feels like it needs more production work for the guitars and beats to stand out. I do, however, like the vocals throwing out lyrics without any attempt to be melodic or rap – it’s pure spoken word over music and at specific times those vocals oddly remind me of Courtney Barnett. But this is less song-focused and pure music making for the sake of it.

Unfortunately, most of this guitar work - the parts that drive the song throughout (the entire album) - feel amateurish, somewhat unpolished, lacking any decent hooks or interesting melodic parts. It's noisy instead of just brain fracturing noise, and buzzes about in the background like a mosquito needing to be swatted into oblivion.

The rest of the album encompasses low growl and moans of impassioned vocals, stale beats and dodgy guitar playing. In fact, I’d go as far to say the guitars should just be deleted entirely. ‘Lady Veronique’ is the perfect example of how much more effective Bielik’s vocals are against a stark backing beat when there isn’t any guitar present.

‘Broken’ is a stand-out, in that it provides some sort of choir effect to support it. I could have highly recommended this track, but once again, the most annoying guitar melodic accompaniment enters and detracts from the positive aspects.

At times, like with ‘Way Out West’ or ‘Nothing’, Lark has a good sense of pacing, distance and slow builds, and at other times it’s all just a mess of interference. It’s unfortunate that ‘Way Out West’ is just an instrumental, because for two minutes I was quite enthralled by the sparseness with the guitar bends reverberating over top . . . but that was all there was. And that’s what’s quite disappointing – no sense of variation or changes.

Lark needs to focus more on vocals, the presentation of beats and drum parts and using the guitar in a limited manner. ‘Bleaching Out’ is a perfect example, it even relegates the once annoying guitar melody accompaniment to just chord stabs which is far more effective by giving colour to the sound world.

Unfortunately this is the little that I find good on the album. There just isn't enough building of a sound world to be Drone or Noise that I would recommend.

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