Loa Loa – In The Absence Of Anything Else

The revival of a sound which has been long since lost from the rock and roll world, Loa Loa have brought forth a truly colossal debut which will be sure to shake the very foundations of the Brighton music scene. Keep their name in mind as this is one Brighton three-piece who are definitely onto something big.

In The Absence Of Anything Else is a truly captivating record from start to finish, the pure ferocity, creativity and cutting edge sound exudes nothing but angst, passion and emotion which will get you beyond riled up and ready to go full riot mode. Opening the record is ‘Wabi Sabi’ and the brutal sheet of Loa Loa’s sound floods over for the first time. The sheer level of grunge fuzz and excitement behind the group’s sound is extraordinary and feels like it has been plucked from 90s grunge and given a 21st century twist. Enjoyable throughout, this is one opening track which grabs your attention and only makes you wonder which direction the record will take next.

From here the antics continue and we continue to delve into more and more unorthodox tracks that continue to surprise and impress. Both the following ‘Tenterhooks’ and ‘Marigolds’ bring forth a torrent of heavy riffs and preachings of anger, angst and antiestablishment. It feels as though Loa Loa are continuously outputting anthem after anthem for a modern disenfranchised youth, and it more than suits their sound. This band are certainly a new driving force in the movement of reinventing punk and bringing it firmly into the modern age.

With so many anthem-like choruses, it’s hard to pick a favourite, but bizarrely, ‘Lazy Susan’ takes the top spot for me. A short, sweet and unbelievably catchy hook makes this track memorable and wanting to bounce around like nobody’s watching. Not only this, but amidst the infectious lines and blurring sound, the solo guitar work is truly the arc de triumph of this entire record and brings the track to an all new level of insanity and madness. This is what modern grunge should be achieving, leaving a hint of freshness on your tongue whilst feeling like something straight off of Nirvana’s Nevermind.

In amongst all the chaos and confusion it can be easy to get yourself lost in this album’s intense sound, but the occasional break from pure insanity can be seen through tracks such as ‘Couldn’t Tell You No’, which adds a slow pace to the listen whilst still maintaining a solid level of punch, fitting cohesively with the rest of the heavier tracks. Likewise, the moment of sanity in ‘I.H.F.T’ is the only time on the record that could be considered psychedelic but is only a minute and a half long and sets the stage perfectly for the album’s finale. The closing track, ‘Pretty Hell’, allows Loa Loa to share their final flourish of angry brutal riffs, wrapping the record up in a very holistic fashion.

Overall, Loa Loa are an absolute credit to the Brighton scene I can assure you, one of the most vibrant bands to see live. The level of passion and emotion that these guys are able to put into their live show has more than transcended into the recordings and the result is truly immense. In The Absence Of Anything Else is a record which introduces us to an all new wave of exciting grunge and I for one am right behind them. If this is the future of rock and roll, count me in!

Ben Walker

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Twitter: twitter.com/_Loa_Loa