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Album Review: La Bastard - Tales From The Beyond

9 August 2013 | 10:12 am | Glenn Waller

Gutsy, sexy and smart, this release is as good a dose of rockabilly boo-yah as you’re likely to get.

Tales From The Beyond sounds like it was created with one purpose firmly in mind: to provide the soundtrack for women in sequined dresses and suspended cages to dance to in a '50s-style rum bar. If this was La Bastard's intention then they've succeeded, with surfer-rock guitar whammy bars soundly tweaked over the methodical pounding of drums and sultry, squealing vocals.

Taking a leaf out of Rockabilly Songwriting 101, La Bastard have grabbed the ball and are running with it, not messing with the formula at all. Opener Beaten Down commences with vocalist Anna Lienhop singing head voice over swaying guitars, evoking the eternal dilemma of lovers at loggerheads. The album peaks and dips in all the right places, with the lyrics playing a big part in creating moods that go from controlled recklessness to full dancefloor freak-out. Dick Dale would be proud of some of Ben Murphy's guitar parts, that can shift from subtle strum to evil surf at the flip of a pick.

Interesting chord progressions give the listener's ear plenty to latch onto, with Call Of The Wild's final looping and ominous sounding refrain heralding the end of one of the album's standout tracks. Timorese Ninja also shifts musically from classic rockabilly to something altogether more sinister with the subsequent You're Not Here Anymore following suit. In fact, the second half of this album wouldn't be out of place at some insane big-top circus, with Running Out Of Time's creepy dissonance a madness-inducing good time.

Gutsy, sexy and smart, this release is as good a dose of rockabilly boo-yah as you're likely to get.

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