Lady Lamb's 'After' Shows Continued Ability To Impress
Eight albums in eight years is good going. Hell, the Beatles only managed seven in seven before they threw in the towel. So in one way Aly Spaltro AKA Lady Lamb is already doing better than the Beatles. For the sake the editor’s heart rate, and the fate of my future submission I think I’ll leave the Beatles alone for now and get back to the main event, Lady Lamb’s new album 'After'.
2013 saw the release of Spaltro’s ‘official’ debut 'Ripely Pine'. It was an hour of folk tinged snapshots and heavier numbers, both showcasing Spaltro’s flair not only for melody, but for lyrical content. Now she’s returned with 'After'. Open track Vena Cava starts off with a retro rock and roll feel, this is a bit different, then the chorus get all raucous and it feels like a different song. But as soon as it started shouting in your face, the verse kicks in again and there are psychedelic tinges to it. This is a motif that carries on through the whole album.
Just when you think you’ve got it worked out, Spaltro changes the script. "Billions of Eyes" is a stomper, lyrically it’s touching and thought provoking, which it's boisterous nature shields from you until you’ve given time to decipher its code.
Stand out track "Violet Clementine" feels like being capitulated into a surreal dream about animals, featuring a Russian rhythm section, psych zither and marching brass band. It sounds like Danger Mouse producing Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass! Just as you’ve got your head around what you’ve heard so far it changes again with "Heretic". Choruses of neo-shoegazing guitars rub shoulders with lo-fi surf verses, all the while Spaltro’s vocals find a way to cut through it and deliver one of the best vocal performances on the album.
I could go on in this vein describing the album and its diversity, but where would the fun be in that? It would leave nothing for you to do, apart from either agree with my capitulations or denounce me and my ability to only scratch the surface of something that is a cleverly produced and densely layered album.
Overall 'After' is a solid work, considering her impressive output Spaltro is showing no signs of flagging. The only real downside is that ten to fifteen minutes could easily be cut to keep our collective interest, especially near the end, when it starts to drag a bit.
While the slower songs showcase Spaltro’s ability not just to write bangers, their sequencing doesn’t quite work with the albums flow. This being said, 'After' shows a progression in Spaltro’s song writing and that’s the ultimate winner here. What comes after, 'After'? For now I guess only Spaltro knows that.
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Words by Nick Roseblade