Lampshades – The ‘In Media Res’ EP.
Sometimes life is beautiful, but let’s face it, most of the time it sucks. That’s what makes the sunsets so pretty, and love so grand, because eventually everything ends. This is what Toronto natives Lampshades are saying with their phenomenal one of a kind In Medias Res release.
It’s a chaos of influence, driving riffs, and the doomy-croon that packages it all into one of the best efforts in this style in years. With doom speckles of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, dotted with Indie influence of The Pixies, Interpol, The Strokes, and accented with heavy experimental Punk reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney or Blood Brothers, the dark bloodshot eyes of sonic ignorance glare you down till you shiver inside from the cold cold world we live in.
Two milliseconds into the first tune ‘Thrills’, and my will is chilled. The heavy My Bloody Valentine guitar moan of reverb smacks you in Grunge like fashion. The vocals croon for a few lines, then break into a barely-on-key scream; what a voice. The vibrato and air he pushes are incredible, very few vocalists could ever pull this off without sounding like a whiny baby, but he sells it so well with the slam-jam of the band that pushes the groove along.
You can really feel the general disdain for life that Stoner-Doom Rock is meant for. Life sucks, and sometimes you don’t have a straw… I need a cigarette now. The lines ‘Take some time for my guts to spill!‘ and the sardonic tense of ‘No, I can’t wait to see the look on your beautiful face‘ are belted out so well. Killer stuff, dudes.
The next track, ‘Strung Out’, has a lot more drive. It would’ve been perfect for the Spawn movie. Great movie, horrid soundtrack. I like the quick dichotomy of croon against scream that really gives this song an expression of complex emotion. It hits you in the feels, and sometimes when that happens you end up strung out. Thanks for all the awesome, sad guys.
On ‘Hey Mister’, you get to hear more of a mature side of the band. Rather than the hack n’ slash axes of distortion, you get more of a Robert Smith Shoegaze reverb/delay combination. The vocals are more of a (The) Killer’s style croon, and build well to climax the song. The danceable number of ‘Forest Of My Mind’ feels like more of a filler, but has Cobain-esque licks that strike the timing off the drums well in track that strikes me a live-show highlight.
The epic 70’s Doom ballad ‘My Apocalypse’ is the quintessential caboose on this train of sad, hate, and gloom. I was having an ok day, but the clouds just keep going in front of the sun, and its cold. I love the way he sings ‘I don’t have anything to believe in!‘, right in a squealy overdrive pit of joy from the guitar.
The melody falls into a hell-filled drudge of evil finger taps and building drums. The moan of incoherent pain burns into incandescent life as the band switches to 6/8 and slams back into life. “Yes, more of this please” is all you think before it ends on a devilish note, leaving you wanting more.
In closing, I want to stress to you humans out there, try to be happy in this sea of emotionless memes, political arguments, and all around negativity. If you’re anything like me, you get sad and when you realise how awful this forsaken ball of dirt we spin around on can be, you need bands like Lampshades. They are both the symptom and the cure to chaos.
In trying times, music has always stood as a beacon of true commentary of a society. NWA with the LAPD and Racism, Bob Dylan and the Vietnam War, and Rage Against The Machine, flipping the bird to croney capitalism with the ‘Sleep Now In The Fire’ video. Lampshades come from a very different place of emotion, but with a true message none the less. As comical as it sounds, it reminds me a lot of Rush’s song ‘Subdivisions’. The restless dreams of youth and conform or be cast out. Just a lot sadder, a lot sadder… I need another cigarette.
Find the band below:
- For updates, head to Facebook and Twitter.
- For the band’s music to date, head to SoundCloud, bandcamp and Spotify.