La Sera - Hour of The Dawn - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

La Sera - Hour of The Dawn

by Jim Harris Rating:8.5 Release Date:2014-05-11

From the bass-player of the now defunct Vivian Girls comes this, the second release by Katy Goodman’s La Sera. While VG were a two-chord, girls-in-the-garage punk band which had a bit more attitude than aptitude, Katy and company blow it out with Hours of the Dawn. Yes, the vocals are sweet and nicely surfer-girl-monotone, but they conjure up more Belinda Carlisle than any 60s flower child singer, and what a pleasant complement to the abrasive guitars and droning four-chord garage-punk delivery. The Go-Go’s had none of this rich, punk-influenced progressions in any of their songs, by the way. 

Katy must have just said fuck it to the ragged, repetitious punk drones which defined Vivian Girls and decided to put together a more proficient band in La Sera. And she did. Katy’s musical canvas, while firmly entrenched in a punk-bash-surfer-garage-trash delivery, is filled with more complexity.

The tone is set nicely with the opening track, ‘Losing to the Dark'. While pretty much a punk-girl, rattle-your-ass-and-shake-your-hair standard, it still sets a bristly energetic tone which is catchy, clever, and smart in execution. Right away, the guitars are more layered and proficient. No song on Hours of the Dawn is followed by another song exactly like it. Again, a departure from VG.

The second song, ‘Summer of Love’, with its Bangle-esque, beach blanket innocence, has the band adding just the right amount of abrasive riffs to the mix. This is 21st Century girl-punk. Throughout Hours of the Dawn, the multi-layers of guitars and occasional straight-up rock 'n' roll jamming add much to  Katy’s song structures. 

The track ‘All My Love is for You’ is a good illustration of Katy’s progression from her previous band. It’s a lyrically bitter tune which has her innocent little voice telling a lover over and over again her heart is their’s to throw away before reaching a climax of cacophonic, noise-punk riffing. Katy can write a song, folks.

Most all the songs on Hours of the Dawn propel La Sera well ahead of most bands in this genre. I’m sure there will be much comparison with another such band, Dum Dum Girls, and with Katy’s red bangs, librarian smile, and short skirts, she will garner the necessary attention.

If her second release is any indication, Katy Goodman will write songs to keep this attention justified and relevant.

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