Naming an album properly is like giving the listener a sneak peek at what type of music they’ll be treated to. That said, some bands get it wrong, and by a large margin. An album named 10,000 Pepperonis would have you imagine some joke band, so when said music turns out to be politically driven, you’re thrown for a loop; much like all the Red Hot Chili Peppers albums should just be titled I Love California, because that’s all they sing about.
Anyway, Po Lazarus’ Ways To End The Night is aptly named. It begins with a beautiful warm up to tantalize your senses with “I’ve Been Sitting Here (All Alone),” which showcases the softer side of Josh Carey’s vocals. It’s only the opening track, yet you can feel how all of his emotions were left on the recording studio’s floor. In fact, I’m amazed that any of the musicians are still alive after the amount of themselves they put into this record. I saw them live in March of this year and they were intense, brilliant, caustic balls of rock and roll energy, and their sound was just that on stage. This record captures all the aforementioned energy. You could put this album on in your living room, and anyone within earshot would get hyped and become slaves to the energy exuded from these gents.
Wow, I got lost. I was supposed to be talking about why this is a good album name. See, how have you ended your nights? Soft, and quiet? “I’ve Been Sitting Here (All Alone)” has you covered. Raunchy and pissed? “Blood Cake” is your jam. Got headphones on, fantasizing that you’re playing the most heartfelt, sexy guitar solo of the year? Guitarist Luc Delisle has your back in “I Won’t Take You Home Again Kathleen.”
Before I go any further, I just wanna say the only reason I’m marking this album a half-point shy of a perfect score is because sometimes the songs get jumbled in my memory, as they all sound very similar. This is not a bad thing per se, since it shows that they know their sound inside and out; every track is the quintessential Po Lazarus you’re in need of. You’ll know the band right away, just maybe not which song you’re listening to. Their sound is rooted heavily in folk and rock from the 70s. So, if you’ve forgotten that decade due to copious amounts of drugs or drink, slap this record on and you’ll be transported directly back to those days, I can almost guarantee it. The songwriting screams it, and it’s pitch perfect on everything they do, from the main instruments to the piano, harmonica, and string accompaniments peppered throughout. After all, it’s all about that songwriting, boss.
Alright, so my final say on the matter of Po Lazarus is, if you’ve never heard them before, and want to know if you should check ‘em out, and will judge their entire body of work on one song, listen to “If You Are Alone.” If this song doesn’t give you goosebumps, or make you fall in love with the band, I’ll reimburse you the $0.99 that you paid for it, you cheap bastard. That’s right, I’m so confident in this band wiggling their sound waves into your brain that I’m gonna put my money where my mouth is. I’ll await your answers in the comments section below.
Written by Aaron Deck
*edited by Kate Erickson