Posts Tagged ‘La Sera’

Music for Listening to Music to is La Sera’s fourth album and its first with singer/bassist Katy Goodman’s husband Todd Wisenbaker officially on board. Produced by Ryan Adams, it finds its way to a blend of Adams‘ alt-country and their winsome take on alt-rock. Goodman says Adams’ excitement about taking La Sera into the analog realm inspired her to embrace the back-to-basics approach. Considering that, it’s the slower, more spacious tracks — like the spare and moody “Begins to Rain” or the grunge-kissed closer, “Too Little Too Late” — that best illustrate how far La Sera’s come since 2011’s self-titled bedroom-pop debut and 2012’s brighter (if still emotionally overcast) Sees the Light. Goodman’s knack for swoon and gloom, first heard via Vivian Girls, is only enhanced by the addition of Wisenbaker’s voice. As she sings on “A Thousand Ways,” arguably Music For Listening to Music To’s dreamiest song, “Love can do all of these things.” Knowing Goodman there’s a sly wink in there, but it’s easy to imagine, if only for a beat, that the carefree flame of the oldies La Sera hold so dear still burns here

Tracklist:
1. High Notes (0:00)
2. A Thousand Ways (2:07)
3. One True Love (5:01)
4. Begins to Rain (7:58)
5. Take My Heart (10:51)
6. I Need An Angel (15:12)
7. Time To Go (19:01)
8. Shadow of Your Love (21:02)
9. Nineties (24:16)
10. Too Little Too Late (27:37)

La Sera’s 4th full-length album, Music For Listening To Music To, released March 4, 2016 (produced by Ryan Adams).

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La Sera have a new EP, Queens, that’s out Friday on the 30th September via Polyvinyl. The record concludes with a cover of Led Zeppelin classic “Whole Lotta Love,” a song that La Sera have been covering live for a long time. Katy Goodman and crew don’t mess with the original too much, but deliver with a whole lotta energy.

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The cover makes its premiere in this post and you can listen, along with Queens‘ title track, below.
La Sera’s tour with Springtime Carnivore (with whom Katy made a covers record of there favourite songs recently)

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Katy Goodman (La Sera & Vivian Girls) and Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore) took on an ambitious project by covering 10 punk tunes from 70s and 80s and knocked it out of the park. I’m by no means the all-knowing word on punk music. Of the 10 songs on the album, I was really familiar with half while the other half were vaguely familiar or new to me. The ladies transitioned these tunes of frustration and angst sung from a male perspective, and stripped them down and them made all sorts of beautiful with shimmery reverb-laden guitars with beautiful female harmonies.

Naturally, I was initially drawn to the tracks I knew. Bastards Of The Young by The Replacements was my first taste and I must have spun that track 10 times the day they released it. I was absolutely mesmerized on what they did to one of my favorite tunes by The Mats. Next up was Where Eagles Dare by The Misfits. Hearing them harmonize, “I ain’t no goddam son of a bitch, you better think about it, baby” is sexy as fuck. Then I dug into the tunes I didn’t know that well by listening to their version and going back to the original. Ever Fallen In Love by The Buzzcocks just sounds wonderful in their hands. Pay To Cum by Bad Brains turns the tune on its head in a bewildering manner.

I’m usually not that big of a fan of cover albums. But this is every bit as good as The Day of Dead compilation released earlier this year.

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You might know Katy Goodman as the former bassist of Vivian Girls or as one half of the husband-and-wife indie rock duo La Sera, who coincidentally just announced a big North American tour. But you might not know that Goodman is also a huge fan of ‘70s and ‘80s punk and new wave and in a recent interview she professed her undying love for The Smiths.

Goodman has teamed up with fellow punk aficionado Greta Morgan of Springtime Carnivore to release a full album of punk and new wave covers, appropriately titled Take It, It’s Yours after lyrics heard in the great Replacements song “Bastards of Young”. The cool thing is, they’re not just sticking to covers that seem easy to pull off. The album kicks off with “Over The Edge” by Portland punk legends the Wipers and then covers territory ranging from DC hardcore (Bad Brains’ “Pay to Cum”) to Detroit proto-punk (The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”).

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But nothing on this album is likely to beat Goodman and Morgan’s cover of the Misfits“Where Eagles Dare”. Originally a bass-heavy burner punctuated by Danzig’s guttural howl, the song has become something else entirely under their direction. As Morgan explains, “This is the song that inspired Take It, It’s Yours in the first place. We were goofing around singing it in my backyard and there was something powerful and interesting about hearing our voices harmonize such a traditionally aggressive song.”

She continues: “The Misfits are one of the punk bands I think of as being most influenced by girl groups of the ‘50s and ‘60s (the other being The Ramones), so somehow our voices really suited these melodies and the simple chord progression.”

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Take It, It’s Yours drops August 26th on Polyvinyl Records. check out the album art and tracklist below.

 Tracklist:
01. Over The Edge (Wipers)
02. Pay to Cum (Bad Brains)
03. Bastards of Young (The Replacements)
04. Sex Beat (The Gun Club)
05. Ever Fallen in Love (Buzzcocks)
06. Where Eagles Dare (The Misfits)
07. I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges)
08. In the City (The Jam)
09. Dreaming (Blondie)
10. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)

La Sera’s Katy Goodman and Springtime Carnivore’s Greta Morgan have been hanging out and spending their time productively, reworking old punk songs by the likes of Bad Brains, The Misfits, The Stooges and more, calming the frenetic pulse of these songs and creating a much mellower vibe. The collection is called “Take It, It’s Yours”and it’s due out this August.

The first track they dropped was a cover of The Replacements “Bastards of Young” which sounded splendidly feminine and forlorn, and below is their video for their take on “Sex Beat” by LA’s The Gun Club. The original was a jittery punk trackbut in the hands of the girls their song takes on a gilded Laurel Canyon earthiness.
“We decided on a simple performance video for ‘Sex Beat’ to show how the record was made,” explains Greta. “Katy and I played all the instruments on Take It, It’s Yours and filmed this video at CompNY Recording, the studio where we actually made the record with our friend and producer Drew Fischer. This is the first video I’ve ever directed and it was so fun that I’ve started working on a bunch more.”

Meanwhile Katy had this to say: “I’ve loved this song since I was a teenager and found Fire of Love at a record store in Seattle. This is one of the first covers we recorded. It came to life quickly and set an awesome tone for the rest of the record.”

The official music video for Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan’s cover of “Sex Beat” by Gun Club, taken from their 2016 collaborative album Take It, It’s Yours, out 8/26. Directed by Greta Morgan.

Often referred to as Sub Pop’s “sister label,” Hardly Art is an offshoot of Sub Pop designed to spotlight emerging talent. While the label’s initial focus was local when it started up in 2007, it has since expanded its roster to welcome artists from all over the United States and abroad.

With the goal of cultivating a stable of vital, young, and relatively undiscovered bands, Hardly Art journeyed underground while a booming Sub Pop stayed above the surface (though both operate out of a shared office space in downtown Seattle). Since its inception and immediate worldwide reception as a paradigm-shifting, taste-making powerhouse (wink), Hardly Art has expanded to three full-time employees, broadening its purview along the way to include reissues, EPs, one-off seven inches, and other dubiously profitable ventures. Currently, the label prides itself on having one of the most diverse catalogs of any label its size.

From its inaugural release (Arthur & Yu’s In Camera) to its most recent, Hardly Art has sought to support new bands in need of a wider audience, with a particular emphasis on the rising stars of the garage, punk, and bedroom pop genres. Here below are our top recommendations from this wonderful label.

Happy release day to The Julie Ruin! Hit Reset, their highly-anticipated new record is finally out today on CD, LP, cassette, and digital formats. Next Tuesday, July 12th, The Julie Ruin will perform live on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and the band hits the road in support of Hit Reset starting next Thursday

In late 2014 The Julie Ruin began work on their second album, Hit Reset. Mixed by Eli Crews, Hit Reset expands on the band’s established sound: dancier in spots and moodier in others, with girl group backing vocals and even a touching ballad closer.Hit Reset is the sound of a band who have found their sweet spot. Kathleen Hanna’s vocals are empowered and her lyrics are as pointed and poignant as ever. From the chilling first lines of “Hit Reset” (“Deer hooves hanging on the wall, shell casings in the closet hall”) to the touching lines of “Calverton” (“Without you I might be numb, hiding in my apartment from everyone / Without you I’d take the fifth, or be on my death bed still full of wishes”), Hanna takes a leap into the personal not seen completely on the first album or possibly even in the rest of her work.

Seattle band Tacocat will be capping off their already-incredible 2016 with another nationwide tour this September/October–including a headlining show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg–with even more dates TBA. Head here for a full list of upcoming shows, including next month’s West Coast run with The Regrettes.

The band’s also heralding the arrival of summer weather with a cover version of The Sunray’s 1965 gem “I Live For The Sun,”

The new record from Seattle band Tacocat has your first look at “Dana Katherine Scully,” the group’s new self-made music video for Lost Time’s opening track. The Powerpuff Girls, for which Tacocat performed the theme song Who’s Got the Power?, premieres on Cartoon Network this Monday.

On the tour front, the band recently opened for Senator Bernie Sanders Seattle Campaign rally, to a crowd of thousands. They tour the U.S. and Europe starting in June, and just announced a slew of West Coast and Southwest U.S. dates for this July. See the tour page for a full list of upcoming Tacocat performances, and find copies of Lost Time on all formats (LPs on colored vinyl!)

 

As La Sera, Katy Goodman turned an aching heart into two marvelous, alluring yet bittersweet break-up albums (2011’s self-titled debut and 2012’s Sees the Light). On her latest, though, the former Vivian Girl is through crying. Hour of the Dawn sees Goodman waking up, throwing open the bedroom windows and welcoming the day.

“I wanted the new La Sera record to sound like Lesley Gore fronting Black Flag,” Goodman says. “I didn’t want it to be another record of me sad, alone in my room. I wanted to have fun playing music and writing songs with a band.” To back her nimble bass lines and enchanting vocals, Goodman assembled a new band helmed by guitarist Todd Wisenbaker.

“We started playing faster, louder and more aggressively,” Goodman says. “I wanted to get that energy onto the album.” The forceful new La Sera line-up set about fleshing out Goodman’s melodies and lyrics into strapping rock anthems, debuting them to enthusiastic crowds on tour, and refining them with a newfound obsession to detail.

After a year of perfecting their new material, La Sera was ready to commit it to tape. In the summer of 2013, the group decamped to a sweltering studio in East Los Angeles with engineer Joel Jerome and banged out the ten songs that would become Hour of the Dawn—an album that never walks, but runs, a collision of unleashed punk and ‘80s power-pop.

“We wanted to make a classic American record,” Wisenbaker says. “The album was inspired by a lot of bands: The Pretenders, Minor Threat, X, The Smiths, The Cars and more.”

The sound that emerged from these disparate influences combined hardcore energy with tuneful harmony, as exemplified by opening track “Losing to the Dark.” Title track “Hour of the Dawn,” meanwhile, rides a steady groove towards a long horizon of sunrise. It’s the record’s thematic center: a final wave goodbye to a messy past and the beginning of a new day. In a burst of bright, immediate and jangly Smiths-inspired pop, “Fall in Place” captures La Sera at an emotional and musical crossroads.

Hour of the Dawn, as its title suggests, heralds the beginning of a radiant and energetic new chapter in La Sera’s evolution—the summit of Goodman’s steady ascent to rock and roll queen dom.

As a prospect it can be terrifying, sad, and worst of all, inevitable. But on I Want to Grow Up, her second album for Hardly Art, Colleen Green lets us know that we don’t have to go it alone.

This latest collection of songs follows a newly 30-year-old Green as she carefully navigates a minefield of emotion. Her firm belief in true love is challenged by the inner turmoil caused by entering modern adulthood, but that doesn’t mean that her faith is defeated. With a nod to her heroes, sentimental SoCal punks The Descendents, Green too wonders what it will be like when she gets old. Throughout songs such as “Some People,” “Deeper Than Love,” and the illustrative title track, the listener has no choice but to feel the sympathetic growing pains of revelatory maturation and the anxieties that come along with it.

Sonically the album is a major change for the LA-based songwriter, who has come to be known for her homemade recordings and merchandise. Her past offerings have been purely Green; testaments to her self-sufficiency and, perhaps, trepidation. This time, she’s got a little help from her friends: the full band heard here includes JEFF the Brotherhood’s Jake Orrall and Diarrhea Planet’s Casey Weissbuch, who collaborated with Green over ten days at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, TN.

I Want to Grow Up is an experience, not unlike life: questioning, learning, taking risks. And in true CG fashion, a quote from a beloved 90s film seems the perfect summation: ”Understanding is reached only after confrontation.”

Chastity Belt is a rock band consisting of four friends – guitarists Julia Shapiro and Lydia Lund, bassist Annie Truscott, and drummer Gretchen Grimm. They met in a tiny college town in Eastern Washington, but their story begins for real in Seattle, that celebrated home of Macklemore and the Twelfth Man. Following a post-grad summer apart, a handful of shows and enthusiastic responses from the city’s DIY community led them, as it has countless others, into a cramped practice space. They emerged with a debut album, No Regerts, sold it out faster than anyone involved thought possible, and toured America, a country that embraced them with open-ish arms. Now they’re back and the tab is settled, the lights are out, the birds are making noise even though the sun isn’t really up yet: it’s Time to Go Home, their second long-player and first for Hardly Art.

In the outside world, they realized something crucial: they didn’t have to play party songs now that their audience didn’t consist exclusively of inebriated 18-22 year olds, as it did in that college town. Though still built on a foundation of post-post-punk energy, jagged rhythms, and instrumental moves that couldn’t be anyone else’s, the songs they grew into in the months that followed are equal parts street-level takedown and gray-skied melancholy. They embody the sensation of being caught in the center of a moment while floating directly above it; Shapiro’s world spins around her on “On The Floor,” grounded by Grimm and Truscott’s most commanding playing committed to tape. They pay tribute to writer Sheila Heti on “Drone” and John Carpenter with “The Thing,” and deliver a parallel-universe stoner anthem influenced by Electrelane with “Joke.”

Recorded by José Díaz Rohena at the Unknown, a deconsecrated church and former sail factory in Anacortes, and mixed with a cathedral’s worth of reverb by Matthew Simms (guitarist for legendary British post-punks and one-time tour mates Wire), Time to Go Home sees Chastity Belt take the nights out and bad parties of their past to their stretching points, watch the world around them break apart in anticipatory haze, and rebuild it in their own image with stunning clarity before anyone gets hung over.

“They’re funny, and slightly goofy, and gently vulgar, and they play with an appealingly loose, relaxed confidence.” –

“In between pelvic-thrusting sexual innuendo and self-mockery, Chastity Belt filter feminist theory, cultural commentary and general intellectual bad-assery…Chastity Belt isn’t the band 2013 wants—it’s the band 2013 needs.”“The guitars on this record…have a nice ring to them, like Liz Phair’s recordings.”

 

 

It can never be said that La Luz are disinclined to hard work. The tour-happy four-piece returns to the road today with a show in Claremont, California that kicks off a three-month North American tour which includes appearances at the Levitation, Sasquatch!, and Pickathon music festivals. Additionally, Hardly Art is pleased to announce that La Luz’s breakthrough debut EP Damp Face is now available on vinyl for the first time ever. This 10” release an be purchased exclusively through the Hardly Art Webstore, in record shops, or at the band’s merch table on any given stop of their ambitious Spring/Summer tour.

For most, a brush with death would be cause for retreat, reflection, and reluctance, but Seattle band La Luz found something different in it: resilience. Having survived a high-speed highway collision shortly after releasing their 2013 debut LP It’s Alive, La Luz, despite lasting trauma, returned to touring with a frequency and tirelessness that put their peers to shame. Over the past year-and-a-half of performing, the band arrived at a greater awareness of their music’s ability to whip eager crowds into a frenzy. In response, frontwoman Shana Cleveland’s guitar solos took on a more unhinged quality. The bass lines (from newly-installed member Lena Simon) became more lithe and elastic. Stage-dives and crowd-surfing grew to be as indelible a part of the La Luz live experience as their onstage doo-wop-indebted dance moves.

When it came time to record Weirdo Shrine, their second album—released August 7th—the goal was to capture the band’s restless  live energy and commit it to tape. In early 2015, Cleveland and Co. adjourned to a surf shop in San Dimas, California where, with the help of producer/engineer Ty Segall, they realized this vision. Tracking most of the album live in shared quarters, La Luz chose to leave in any happy accidents and spur-of-the-moment flourishes that occurred while recording. Cleveland’s newly fuzzed-up guitar solos—which now incorporated the influence of Japanese Eleki players in addition to the twang of American surf and country—were juxtaposed against the group’s most angelic four-part harmonies to date. The organs of Alice Sandahl and the drumming of Marian Li Pino were granted extra heft and dimension. Thematically, Cleveland channeled Washingtonian poet Richard Brautigan on “You Disappear” and “Oranges,” and sought inspiration from Charles Burns’ Seattle-set graphic novel Black Hole.

The resulting album is a natural evolution of the band’s self-styled “surf noir” sound—a rawer, turbo-charged sequel that charts themes of loneliness, infatuation, obsession and death across eleven tracks, from the opening credits siren song of “Sleep Till They Die” to the widescreen, receding-skyline send-off of “Oranges” and its bittersweet epilogue, “True Love Knows.”

In describing Weirdo Shrine, Segall remarked that it gave him a vision of a “world…burning with colors [he’d] never seen, like mauve that is living.” In “Oranges,” the Brautigan poem which inspired the aforementioned track of the same name, the poet writes of a surreal “orange wind / that glows from your footsteps.” These hue-based allusions are apt: the sound of La Luz is (appropriately) vibrant, and alive with a kaleidoscopic passion. Weirdo Shrine finds them at their most saturated and cinematic.

“La Luz is ready to take on the world.” – MTV Hive

“…a uniquely haunting – albeit occasionally unintentional – spin on the innocent guitar-driven pop of the late ’50s and early ’60s, nudging the sock hop vibes of Dick Dale and the Shirelles into a darker parallel dimension.” – Paper Magazine

“Imagine all of the Shangri-La’s trying, precariously, to balance on top of Link Wray’s surfboard.” – Pitchfork

“One of those bands that hit the ground not running, but sprinting.”

Joe Casey was once why he chose to start his first band with a group of guys roughly ten years his junior. His answer was simple: He needed them, needed this, needed Protomartyr. He didn’t want to end up singing classic rock covers in a carport or dive bar one night a week. At 35, with no musical background and crippling stage fright, he needed friends who were young and hearty enough to want to write and record and practice and tour and be heard as badly as he did then. He’d just lost his father to an unexpected heart attack, and his heartbroken mother to the beginnings of Alzheimer’s shortly thereafter. He’d come to understand, all too intimately, how brutal and finite a life can be. Consider then the urgency with which he joined his bandmates—guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard, and bassist Scott Davidson, fellow alums of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy—for the first time, in a basement full of unsuspecting onlookers. Consider the urgency with which they’ve approached everything since—three albums in three years, each more extraordinary and rewarding than the last. This music is inherently, unassumingly high stakes. I can think of no other band that moves me like they do.

October marks the release of The Agent Intellect, their third and finest work to date.  Named after an ancient philosophical questioning of how the mind operates in relation to the self, it’s an elegant and often devastating display of all that makes Protomartyr so vital and singularly visceral an outfit. Over the course of several months, Ahee waded through more than a hundred song fragments until he reached the bottomless melodies of “I Forgive You” and “Clandestine Time”, the inky depths of “Pontiac ’87” and titanic churn of “Why Does It Shake?” Lyrically, Casey is at his most confident and haunting. He humanizes evil on “The Devil in His Youth,” and, amid the charred pop of “Dope Cloud,” he reassures us that nothing—not God, not money—can or will prevent our minds from unraveling until we finally fade away. We are no one and nothing, he claims, without our thoughts. It’s a theme that echoes through the entirety of the record, but never as beautifully as it does on “Ellen.” Named after his mother and written from the perspective of his late father, it’s as romantic a song as you’re likely to hear this or any year, Casey promising to wait for her on the other side, with the memories she’s lost safely in hand.

I remember a story he told me in Detroit. A few months earlier, he’d been driving with his mother as a Protomartyr recording played on the stereo.

“Joe,” she asked him. “Who is this?” “This is us, Mom,” he told her. “That’s me.” “Oh!” she said, “This is very good.”

Protomartyr share a video for their song “Dope Cloud” (from their critically acclaimed album The Agent Intellect, which was directed by self-proclaimed Protomartyr fan Lance Bangs. Bangs, known for directing music videos for the likes of R.E.M., Pavement, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, and Arcade Fire, was simply drawn to the song and made the video on his own time and submitted it to the band. The video shows the demise of one of the last phone booths in the country.

Meanwhile, Protomartyr continues their huge tour of everywhere, which has them basically playing everywhere humanly possible. New Canadian, east coast, and European dates have been added.

KATY GOODMAN + GRETA MORGAN | TAKE IT, IT'S YOURS

Katy Goodman of La Sera and Greta Morgan of Springtime Carnivore have teamed up for an album of punk covers entitled Take It, It’s Yours. The LP features the duo’s takes on songs by the Stooges, Blondie, Bad Brains, and a number of other classic outfits. Morgan provided us with some background behind the project’s origin:

The concept of the record began last September when Katy and I were messing around learning Misfits songs on guitar in my backyard. Once we started singing ‘Where Eagles Dare,” we couldn’t stop. Having female voices and girl group harmonies with the lyrics “I ain’t no goddam son of a bitch, you better think about it, baby” felt like a riveting turnaround.
The lead single from Take It, It’s Yours is a cover of The Replacements’ “Bastards Of Young,” the song from which their album title derives its inspiration. Opening not with a tin wire guitar riff but rather a reverb-dipped breeze reminiscent of Real Estate, Goodman and Morgan sweetly sing Paul Westerberg’s opening lines, “God, what a mess, on the ladder of success/ Where you take one step and miss the whole first rung,” as if they actually came from the last Jenny Lewis album. Replacing Westerberg’s guttural throttle with these women’s harmony-driven delivery shifts the original’s mood of dissatisfied confrontation towards one of sardonic defiance. Oddly enough, they omit the “Take it, it’s yours” section of the original.

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Ex-Vivian Girl Katy Goodman recently announced that she’s releasing the Ryan Adams-produced La Sera LP Music for Listening to Music to on March via Polyvinyl. Today she shared the official release date, which is March 4th 2016, and the first single, “High Notes.” Rolling Stone mentioned that the album was going to have “moments of a country twang” and this track shows it, featuring a distinct country sound complete with a harmonica outro.

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I absolutely loved La Sera‘s last album, 2012’s “Sees the Light” and I had also heard rumblings from those who had heard about this LP being completed for months before the release date.

singer-songwriter Katy Goodman‘s mellower, sadder earlier works under her nom de plume La Sera, was stressed. Goodman even said “I didn’t want it to be another record of me sad, alone in my room. I wanted to have fun playing music and writing songs with a band.”  adding Morgan also plays with Goodman in Books of Love,  the press is a bit misleading. When your lead-off track is called “Losing to the Dark” and chronicles the sadness and frustration of a lover’s decay from nightly alcohol and drug abuse,

Still, the music on this track is indeed faster and more aggressive than anything La Sera has done to date and like she does on some other cuts on the album, Goodman sounds more enraged than wistful. And like so much classic pop, it combines cheery, upbeat melodies with lyrics evoking the many struggles of everyday life. but at heart I think she knows that even the bouncy “It’s My Party” is lyrically a sad song with its references to crying.

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After “Losing to the Dark,” the pace settles down a bit with the jangly, Roy Orbison-like “Summer of Love” before ace guitarist Wisenbaker unleashes a great Billy Zoom-like riff to open “Running Wild,” another tale of a wayward lover. The “go go go go” vocal part that then launches into the solo is a particular highlight.

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Elsewhere, the title track, “Kiss This Town Away” and “Control” are all further highlights of this consistently great album. There’s even a track oddly called “10 Headed Goat Wizard” though as far as I can tell it has nothing to do with heavy metal or gaming . And don’t miss the gorgeous, Smiths-like “Fall in Place.”

Perhaps there is so much drama on the rest of the album that closing with the instrumental though it features ghostly harmonies from each band member) “Storm’s End” is appropriate here. And like the title implies, there is much more going on here than meets the surface. In short, this is one of 2014’s best albums and perhaps La Sera’s best work yet.