LaFaro – LaFaro
Photos from album launch HERE
By Jonathan Bradley
You have to wait four minutes for a cup of tea, three weeks for a passport, nine months for a baby, forty-eight months for a World Cup…for a LaFaro album you wait six years. To summarise, their self-titled debut comes with more hype than the second coming of Jesus.
With such weighty expectations a strong start is necessary. For bands without the ‘Best Northern Irish Song Of The Last Five Years’ tm in their arsenal this may pose a problem but from the familiar pounding opening of ‘Tupenny Nudger’ it’s clear that LaFaro are a band determined to deliver on all their promise. While at this stage, it is unlikely you need to be told anything about the song, rest assured it remains the wholly brutal and visceral track that appeared on the band’s eponymous EP.
Other fan favourites such as ‘Leningrad’ and ‘Mr Heskey’ sound just as vital as their live counterparts with the recording process subtracting none of the pulsating energy that has become the band’s signature. The snarled vocals of Johnny Black and relentless bass of Dave Magee ensure that these are the type of songs David Yow hasn’t written since the mid-nineties.
Forget what Zane Lowe tells you (not just in regard to LaFaro…about everything), ‘The Ballad of Burnt Dave’ remains the best thing that the band have ever produced. It’s a song with bigger balls than an under-sexed dinosaur and yet still manages to incorporate a hymnal opening and a chorus of “I believe in you”, elements that wouldn’t be out of place in the first dance at a wedding…okay, a slightly unusual first dance but a first dance nonetheless.
After their incendiary live performances LaFaro’s standing within the Belfast music community has long-since been confirmed but it is with this album that they are able to sit alongside contemporaries such as ASIWYFA and Jetplane Landing as bands who have honed their skills on the live circuit before using them to record a superb album.