Lark - I Don't Got
Any band whose sound draws comparisons to a frothy mix of Tom Waits, The Fall and Roxy Music is work a listen, no? That Lark are described as such by their own label ought not to taint your curiosity. "I Don't Got" sure covers a lot of ground in fifteen tracks. The East London quintet may not soar as high as their idols, but their ragged, deft attempts are often in the ballpark of greatness.
If Svengoolie sat in with The Cramps, the horror-pop of "Palucca" and "Bleeding" might have been the result. From the sludge jam on "Kong" to the lo-fi dance of "Sling," a lot of emotional and musical moods are covered. But the overall impression is of warped grandeur.
"That's What People Do" is hauntingly minimal, with a creepy and truly disturb spoken word; think Jandek in tune. "Slung" is all disjointed broken piano rhythm, as disturbing as any quiet instrumental is likely to get. Likewise, the one chord "Need Me" also makes you fear for singer/songwriter Karl Bielik's sanity.
"The Scream" and "Another Lover" are greasy, muffled punk tunes, and are probably where the Waits reference came from. The childlike dementia of "We Dance" closes things down on an appropriately harrowing, surreal note.
For a second album, "I Don't Got" is stunning in its range of ideas and raw poetic power. That it is by turns creepy and darkly fun only adds to the sense that Lark are here to stay, unless they hurt themselves real bad.
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