Album Reviews

A Shot of The Lapdogs

I love coffee if that isn’t already clear. I buy coffee in bulk amounts. Sometimes I have such a need for caffeine that I will go to Starbucks and get an undertow. What is an undertowIt is two shots of espresso floated over milk, directed to drink like a shot. Takin’ It Slow by The Lapdogs has been my undertow for this month.

The Lapdogs are self Minneapolis, MN-based Oliver Gerber, Aaron Kramer, and Kameron Kudick. Conflicting each other, their Facebook and Soundcloud describe them as “Soft Grindcore” and “indie rock from the midwest.”

 I am a sucker for song intros where there are a few seconds of jamming before the song starts. The first track on this EP is Cookie, where some studio chatter occurs before you get a direct shot of catchy, energetic rock. There is something very humanizing about hearing part of that scene. While it is a given, other people are experiencing life just like you and I.

The “human imperfection” is an idea I have had tumbling around in my head for a while. It is the idea that humans can never achieve perfection, yet that makes them so endearing. A child’s fingerpainting usually won’t receive the same critique as a skillful display of artistry. 

In no way am I saying, though, that the 13-minute EP is childish. The passion, energy, and fun that the band executes in their delivery seem to aim at having a good time. That level of raw fun is liberating when some albums refuse to allow the listener any joy.

The comparison that jumps to the front of my mind is the legendary midwest institution, Glocca Morra. Just Married is one of the landmark albums of the emo genre. One of the often-cited characteristics of the record is its infectious grooves. At points, though, that album has felt unrelenting to me. 

The humanity of this EP is what makes it so unique. The Lapdogs have managed to bottle the fun of a jam session into a session recording. If they perform with half as much energy as they sound on this record, I am positive it would be one of the best live shows money can buy. 

The Lapdogs don’t overstay their welcome but are more than happy to slow things down when the situation calls. Takin’ It Slow has the hooks, the emotion, and the delivery to knock you on your socks in only four tracks. Glass of Water, Zoo, and So Long all have quality songwriting. 

Takin’ It Slow makes me excited. It is a firecracker in a bottle, which is a pure delight to watch. It reminds me why I love emo music so much. The Lapdogs are more than happy being your undertow.

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