Winnipeg emo rockers Louser are back with their latest EP, Louser. This self-titled release is an impressive follow up to 2018 Intermediate State. The production is a little more polished than on the band’s previous EP, but Louser still packs an emotional punch. If you’re into that grungy kind of sad rock you’d hear in bands like Mockingbird Wish Me Luck or Title Fight, Louser is a band that should be on your radar.
The EP kicks off with “Vitamin L,” a mellow tune that sets a cool mood for what’s to come. Nick Fondse’s melodic-but-not-overbearing guitar melody overtop of Sean Kaye and Jesse Hardie’s heavy rhythms make for an incredibly solid track. Vocalist Nick Gammon has some terrific melodies throughout Louser, particularly on songs like “Questionable” and “The Admiral” but can still belt out some powerful melodic yelling on “Shift Into Shade.”
“Rose” is one of the best neo-grunge kinda tunes I haven’t heard in a long time. The cheery chord progression with the moody vocals and rhythm section is an undeniably cool combination. If Kurt Cobain really did fake his death and become Rivers Cuomo, AND HE MIGHT HAVE, “Rose” sounds like a tune that he would’ve come out with.
While I was impressed with a lot of the improvements that Louser has made since Intermediate State, I still take issue with the way the band structures their songs. Most of these songs start out with a slow guitar progression dripping in reverb and phaser effects. Sure, it’s a moody way to kick off a song, but it lacks some creativity. An intro like the one on “The Admiral” that just trims the fat and kicks right into things is a great change of pace that I would’ve liked to hear more of.
Louser is a great EP. It’s got some of the harmonies and slick production that I was hoping to hear on Intermediate State but still has a sense of heaviness. If you’re a fan of that sludgier emo sound, I can’t recommend Louser enough.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Mike Milito