The Elusive Sounds of Ladderlad and ‘No Good Idea’.
Ladderlad is an elusive musician from somewhere in Ontario in Canada. From an early age through a slow but decisive flirtation with Punk-Rock and the likes of staple revivalists NOFX, his adoration for organised sound began to take form. NOFX may well have become a huge influence from an early age but his musical journey didn’t stop there.
Affiliation and involvement with the likes of Classic Rock and Metal and as far away from that as Metalcore’s explosion in popularity later on, the musician that would become Ladderlad accumulated these influences naturally but found that this was only secondary to a desire that in layman’s terms, would prompt him to go out on his own.
By 2007, several bands deep and with a collected range of influences from the likes the above on to The Police and Blink-182, Ladderlad began to record the preliminary recordings and releases what would eventually form the sound we are about to dissect in, No Good Idea.
‘I make music because it’s the only thing I know. I can’t see myself doing anything else. Even if I’m not the best at what I do, I want others to enjoy what I do and feel the same emotions I felt when writing the music.‘
With ‘Written In Captivity’ you’re the high-pitched guitar tone drives along a near perfect Skate Punk guitar line that not only hits hard but stands anthemically defiant before vocals reminiscent of No Use For A Name‘s Making Friends give the track its contrasting high edge.
Despite this almost over-dominant Skate Punk tirade, hints at Ladderlad’s appreciation for a more metallic sound can be heard, albeit briefly but enough for ‘Rub and Tug’ to channel further in its refrains from the ironic melodic Punk fury.
Fellow Canadians Hey Mister! come to mind when droning vocals with their almost disinterested tone carry you through the verses with hints at Dexter Holland of The Offspring sparingly but noticeably placed.
‘Questionnaire’ is 0:21 of Punk Nihlism filtered through a snotty Pop-Punk delivery before the likes of ‘Halos’ somehow manages to sound akin to a strange mix of Blink-182, New Found Glory and the Misfits.
On ‘Game Of Chess’ there is an even stronger contrast between Ladderlad’s somewhat subdued vocals, his backing harmonies and the fast and furious Skate Punk that falls into something you could have seen on Sum 41‘s Chuck with a strong Metal appreciation barely confined. It’s here that vocally more aggressive Ladderlad is seen, indeed adding depth but in many ways not quite going the full distance in it’s aggression.
‘Fault’ is not only strong musically, not only testament to the skill of Ladderlad through writing, recording, mixing and production but boasts some of the hardest hitting lyrics on the album, taking a look through the eyes of one who has been victimised and abused.
‘Stuck On Me’ flirts implements Ska into the Canadian Skate Punk sound Ladderland emanates before this is abandoned for the boundary pusher, ‘Clutching Crutches’. Slower “easycore” influenced Pop-Punk with its soaring guitar leads and crunching guitar-chugs take point before we hear from the harder screamed vocals once, with them this time not only sitting more inline (ironically) with the track on the whole but sounding far stronger.
It was always precarious when The Offspring attempted a Ska-Punk track. In their earlier career these flirtations produced some indeed solid and serviceable compositions but also many not so much and with ‘World We Used To Know’, despite its strong lyrical content, it fails to be taken seriously and acts as questionable filler.
‘Heathens’ fall’s back on an up-tempo jagged Pop-Punk sound and is on the whole a solid track before it begins to experiment further with another harder-tease before a crescendo that as impressive as it is, feels out of place.
‘Reflection’ is another in what is seemingly a long line of curveballs thrown by Ladderlad to different effects. ‘Reflection’ almost sounds as if it should belong on a Post-Metal record in many ways but in others with the Iron Maiden-esque guitar tone it again leaves you confused, but ultimately satisfied.
‘Up’ is another mid-tempo Pop-Punk track that holds its real treat in its lyrical content riding well on the crooning vocal melodies and Classic Rock toned guitar of the line musician. In the tracks closing minute and half, you cat help but hear a more recent Alkaline Trio/Matt Skiba influence in the soft but sad vocal melodies that further drive an ironically positive point home.
Closing we have ‘Ballad Of Ignorecity’ which is a cover from another Ontario native, Clayton Blake who can be found – Here.
If you can, find Ladderlad below: