Lady LambLady Lamb
Album: After
Label: BB* Island
Tracks: 12

Lady Lamb's sophomore studio album 'After' is reminiscent of the work of Spaltro's formative years in the way the raw energy is still very much present despite a drastic change in production techniques. These twelve tracks consist of explosive guitar riffs, highly emotive vocals and a consistent level of intensity throughout. These factors, combined with a shrewd track listing ensure each subsequent song is the perfect antidote to the previous, creating a work that absorbs from beginning to end.

Self taught as a musician and producer, Spaltro's work is often unfettered by conventions we are so accustomed to in modern music, pushing boundaries in terms of genre, lyrics, and musicality. High octane hooks, experimental drum beats and a nervous energy all feature in the most sonically interesting 'Violet Clementine'. A stand out track split into four very different sections tied together with the same motif. Culminating in an impressive climax featuring a brass arrangement not dissimilar from something you'd expect to hear on a Beirut release.

Alongside themes of love and loss, the album spans philosophical questions such as whether we are really born as in the vibrant 'Spat Out Spit' - 'Have I been asleep this whole damn time? Dreaming up a life?' as well contemplating the disconcerting nature of our often mundane yet bizarre existence in 'Billions of Eyes', '…all looking at something different at the same time, and I feel nauseous'.

The listener is granted an intimate insight into Spaltro's world, also the world of her family as in 'Ten', which explores the experiences of her mother and sister and the memories they share. The details of which are exposed and made vulnerable backed only by an electric guitar, proving the visceral band sound though effective, isn't imperative to carry the songs.

The honest, unflinching approach she has to songwriting speaks directly to the listener. Personal tales told through banal observations; a technique allowing a connection to build between her and the listener via relatable subject matter and shared experience.

This dressed down approach to lyrics calls to mind a rockier Regina Spektor, almost as if the words are tumbling out in real time; a free running dialogue of thoughts unpolished and un-filtered, liberated from standard rhyming schemes and rhythmic patterns. Team this with her unique, emphatic brand of punk-come-folk-come-rock for a distinct sound that I can't wait to experience live.

R. Scutt