For Fans Of
Those who have witnessed Melbourne band Laura’s live show before know that they offer a musical experience unlike any other act in the country. The key word is “musical,” as the band explores layers and landscapes that are so poignant and effective anyone witnessing the event can’t help but be enthralled. Luckily the group are able to translate this magic into a recorded setting as well which is why their third album ‘Twelve Hundred Times,’ is something worth checking out.
The music’s various dynamics make each track an interesting listen, coupled with the fact that the band has put more of a focus on vocal elements, which have always been a garnish in the past, and in some ways still are as it is the musical elements of the songs that are the real points of focus.
The record opens with its longest song, the over seven minute Visitor, which slowly builds upon its layers, swelling and rising with melancholy strings and distorted bass lines. The songs are sparse enough to give their subtle intricacies enough room to leave their mark, often providing moments of light in an otherwise dark setting.
The Grey Earth is one of the more vocal heavy songs, almost falling into some sort of structure with verses which is very out of character for Laura as the normal rules of song-writing are simply ignored. The album’s single Mark The Day, was voted single of the year by Beat Magazine, and it is easy to see why, depending of course on your definition of a “single.” The soft opening drum pattern leads to string lines and wails that create an eerie atmosphere that eventually builds into a wall of organs and guitars at the songs end. Granted there are no hook laden chorus lines but that isn’t really the point with this music.
As with all Laura records the flow of the album is amazing, best heard in one piece, as the songs follow each other perfectly despite their individual intensities or lack thereof. The fast paced energy of Glint connects to the sonic interlude x1200 which helps bridge the change of mood for the acoustically driven Stone Seed.
The record ends with New Safe Confinement, which features a main riff that brightens every now and then before sinking back into sadness, made more prevalent with its relaxed vocal melodies and rolling drum beat.
Having witnessed this band’s amazing live show I can safely say they are able to translate the experience to their records as well. ‘Twelve Hundred Times’ is one of the group’s more accessible albums thanks to its slightly less wild arrangement structures and use of vocals, so if you don’t know the band, now is a good time to get on board.
2. This Grey Earth
3. Gravity Hill
4. Mark The Day
7. Stone Seed
8. Fugue State
9. The Slow
10. Safe Confinement
11. New Safe Confinement