# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lark - Shop

  by Jon Rogers

published: 1 / 10 / 2009

Lark - Shop
Label: Care in the Community Recordings
Format: CD


Promising debut album from London-based punk six-piece with a strong DIY ethic, Lark

Slip on Lark’s debut album ‘Shop’ and you’d forgiven if you thought you’d stubbed on to some obscure side project by Fall leader Mark E Smith. Singer Karl Bielik in tones the opening lines, “Welcome to our little shop, we hope you like what you find here...” just like Smith’s intonation in 'Bend Sinister' era Fall. Fortunately Lark quickly find their own voice. While the Fall might well be a great musical institution surely no one actually wants to sound like a Fall tribute band. Do they? The opening song ‘Little Shop’ though quickly drops any copycat aspirations and takes on a junkyard rockabilly swing as if conducted by Birthday Party-era Nick Cave. With the instruments played by the psychotic shopkeepers in 'The League of Gentlemen'. While the rest of ‘Shop’ might not quite live up to the opening song Lark are someone to keep an eye on. Valuing authentic expression of musical dexterity the sextet, led by Bielik, take that punk aesthetic and combine it with a pound shop thriftiness. Half the time it sounds like the instruments, many of which were literally acquired at Kingsland market, are on the verge of giving up the ghost and about to simply fall apart. But they manage to keep it together. ‘Hatbox’ manages to mix up the Cramps with Radio Birdman and the spectre of having listened just a bit too avidly to Tom Waits casts a shadow over the entire album. That DIY aesthetic permeates everything on ‘Shop’ as if, collectively, they have a ‘make do and mend’ attitude, unable to throw out anything even if it is half broken. But the opening ‘Little Shop’ aside, the album generally improves as it goes along. Single ‘The Animal’s Claw’ is worthy of particular mention as it wobbles about as if band have chucked in their instruments in favour of some early, and rudimentary, synthesisers and some Space Invader sound effects as if played by Stereolab. Things conclude with the four-minute instrumental 'Tardis'. A Faust/Neu!-esque slab of repetition that probably works well live and would be even better if it was five times longer with the band locked in their stride, relentlessly pounding away and fired up on cheap stimulants. Okayat times ‘Shop’ has its weaknesses and songs like ‘You Know Not’ and ‘Don’t’ show the band’s inexperience but there’s an impressive eagerness and desire there. Whereas many bands nowadays have their career paths already clearly mapped out and so are desperate not to put a foot wrong, Lark push such cares aside, are willing to trip and fall if necessary, but don’t let a few little setbacks put them off. And Lark will benefit, ultimately, from those slips. ‘Shop’ at the very least is well worth a browse around.

Track Listing:-
1 Sex on Fire
2 Hotel California
3 There's Nothing Like This
4 Turn the Lights Out
5 Don't Know Why
6 Everybody Wants to Rule the World
7 Being with You
8 Ain't Nobody
9 Lately
10 Time After Time
11 By Your Side
12 Rainy Night in Georgia
13 Little Fragile Girl
14 I Need a Dollar
15 Dance with My Father
16 Rather Be
17 La La La (Chiller Mix)
18 Beautiful Love
19 Chasing Cars
20 Dreams
21 Let Him Go

Band Links:-

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors