Lamb - 5
Acoustic, Experimental I knew they'd be back, the chemistry between these two is just too strong to keep down indefinitely. It's been eight years since Lamb put out a new album and every one of them has been harder and harder to slog through, because if you're a fan of this pair all you want is more... constantly. Lamb do not sound like anyone else out there, there is no one who does what they do so when you hear that they're playing shows here and there you begin to hope against hope that something will emerge from the studio. The seeds for this record were first sown during the making of Lou Rhodes' recent third solo work 'One Good Thing'. Andy Barlow was producing and during a conversation they were having on the phone, he asked for one good reason why they shouldn't make a new Lamb LP. To her credit, Rhodes could not think of one and so, in 2011, here we go yet again boys and girls. Lamb have returned. It won't make much of a splash in the music press or the industry I'll wager because they have opted to release it themselves. The 2cd version reviewed here was only available as a pre-order edition of 2800. That may seem like a lot of copies, but they are all gone. Every. Last. One.

Lamb began transforming, shedding their recognizable drum 'n' bass driven skin with 2001's 'What Sound'. This shamanic chameleonism continues on '5'. The time apart has yielded three solo albums from Lou and a solo venture from Barlow called 'Lowb', all of which is quite worth tracking down. With her own albums, Rhodes has explored the acoustic side of what Lamb do to it's fullest... until this album. Lowb get out there sonically, transcribing the sessions must be a migraine in itself due to the complexity and diversity of the compositions... and then there's this album. What I'm bluntly cobbling these contrasts into is what Lamb have accomplished on '5': they juxtapose their own approaches into something which by all rights should not function whatsoever. Lou brings incredible warmth to the incisive keyboards and production Andy stitches together. The result are tapestries of purely unique rhythms and percolating, almost angelic cacophonies of sound. If you missed out on getting this version, wow did you miss out. I suspected they'd take it to a whole new level but this is absolutely visionary.

Of the tracks on '5', I can attest to just how well crafted they are. Some are more noticeable than others, depending on your tastes... "She Walks" is the one which sold it for me, and even though I'd heard it in a different version (Lamb grace their listeners who pre-order with digital bonus tracks, hee hee) the version they have put on the album is riveting. Even if you own this edition and have the pre-order tracks they made available (two, by the way, the other is an excellently sparse version of "Strong The Root") it isn't enough, it just never is.

For reasons solely my own, I went ahead and played all four previous albums they had done, from 1996 - 2003 and then added '5' to the proceedings, it was no surprise how well it fit with their others releases and for those who lazily clamor that it sounds similar to their debut: you're wrong. This is a new chapter for Lamb, it's not modeled on what they have done before and how could it be, these two are very different people from where they were when a pushy major label tried to neatly compartmentalize their work. This, more than anything else, is what I suspect drove them to pack it in with a best-of back in 2004. No, there won't be any videos for '5', there won't be any singles or endless string of remixes (the second disc pretty much eliminates any need for those) but there will be with any luck, more songs committed to disc, hard-drive or whatever choice of medium they have at their disposal. '5' is simply too good to fold after, a totally new beginning for Lamb. Songs like "Build a Fire" rock harder than anything they've yet done but fear not, the song structure is beautifully arranged; tasteful usage of feedback and pounding drums meld into Lou's voice and you'd swear you were sixteen again in your bedroom slamming into the walls, trying to find a way to get out.

As for that second disc, it contains two exclusive tracks: "Dischord" which is stately and delivered with serious swagger and "Back to Beginning" which is surreal even by Lamb's standards. The rest of the disc is rounded out by instrumental versions of "Strong The Root", "Last Night The Sky", "Butterfly Effect", "Wise Enough", an acapella version of "Strong The Root", "Rounds" in demo form and the magnificent closer of the album as a reprise... "The Spectacle". It's almost like an entirely different work when heard side by side with the parent release. Trust me, Barlow's arrangements when stripped of Lou's vocals are insidiously detailed. It's just that you get to hear all those details the first time through with nothing to distract the ears, you've been warned.
5
Brutal Resonance

Lamb - 5

9.0
"Amazing"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2011 by Strata Music
I knew they'd be back, the chemistry between these two is just too strong to keep down indefinitely. It's been eight years since Lamb put out a new album and every one of them has been harder and harder to slog through, because if you're a fan of this pair all you want is more... constantly. Lamb do not sound like anyone else out there, there is no one who does what they do so when you hear that they're playing shows here and there you begin to hope against hope that something will emerge from the studio. The seeds for this record were first sown during the making of Lou Rhodes' recent third solo work 'One Good Thing'. Andy Barlow was producing and during a conversation they were having on the phone, he asked for one good reason why they shouldn't make a new Lamb LP. To her credit, Rhodes could not think of one and so, in 2011, here we go yet again boys and girls. Lamb have returned. It won't make much of a splash in the music press or the industry I'll wager because they have opted to release it themselves. The 2cd version reviewed here was only available as a pre-order edition of 2800. That may seem like a lot of copies, but they are all gone. Every. Last. One.

Lamb began transforming, shedding their recognizable drum 'n' bass driven skin with 2001's 'What Sound'. This shamanic chameleonism continues on '5'. The time apart has yielded three solo albums from Lou and a solo venture from Barlow called 'Lowb', all of which is quite worth tracking down. With her own albums, Rhodes has explored the acoustic side of what Lamb do to it's fullest... until this album. Lowb get out there sonically, transcribing the sessions must be a migraine in itself due to the complexity and diversity of the compositions... and then there's this album. What I'm bluntly cobbling these contrasts into is what Lamb have accomplished on '5': they juxtapose their own approaches into something which by all rights should not function whatsoever. Lou brings incredible warmth to the incisive keyboards and production Andy stitches together. The result are tapestries of purely unique rhythms and percolating, almost angelic cacophonies of sound. If you missed out on getting this version, wow did you miss out. I suspected they'd take it to a whole new level but this is absolutely visionary.

Of the tracks on '5', I can attest to just how well crafted they are. Some are more noticeable than others, depending on your tastes... "She Walks" is the one which sold it for me, and even though I'd heard it in a different version (Lamb grace their listeners who pre-order with digital bonus tracks, hee hee) the version they have put on the album is riveting. Even if you own this edition and have the pre-order tracks they made available (two, by the way, the other is an excellently sparse version of "Strong The Root") it isn't enough, it just never is.

For reasons solely my own, I went ahead and played all four previous albums they had done, from 1996 - 2003 and then added '5' to the proceedings, it was no surprise how well it fit with their others releases and for those who lazily clamor that it sounds similar to their debut: you're wrong. This is a new chapter for Lamb, it's not modeled on what they have done before and how could it be, these two are very different people from where they were when a pushy major label tried to neatly compartmentalize their work. This, more than anything else, is what I suspect drove them to pack it in with a best-of back in 2004. No, there won't be any videos for '5', there won't be any singles or endless string of remixes (the second disc pretty much eliminates any need for those) but there will be with any luck, more songs committed to disc, hard-drive or whatever choice of medium they have at their disposal. '5' is simply too good to fold after, a totally new beginning for Lamb. Songs like "Build a Fire" rock harder than anything they've yet done but fear not, the song structure is beautifully arranged; tasteful usage of feedback and pounding drums meld into Lou's voice and you'd swear you were sixteen again in your bedroom slamming into the walls, trying to find a way to get out.

As for that second disc, it contains two exclusive tracks: "Dischord" which is stately and delivered with serious swagger and "Back to Beginning" which is surreal even by Lamb's standards. The rest of the disc is rounded out by instrumental versions of "Strong The Root", "Last Night The Sky", "Butterfly Effect", "Wise Enough", an acapella version of "Strong The Root", "Rounds" in demo form and the magnificent closer of the album as a reprise... "The Spectacle". It's almost like an entirely different work when heard side by side with the parent release. Trust me, Barlow's arrangements when stripped of Lou's vocals are insidiously detailed. It's just that you get to hear all those details the first time through with nothing to distract the ears, you've been warned.
May 04 2011

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
12
Shares

Buy this release

We don't have any stores registered for this release. Click here to search on Google

Related articles

Austra - 'Feel It Break'

Review, Dec 17 2012

K-Not - 'Upgraded Data Life'

Review, Apr 20 2013

Machinecode - 'Samurai'

Review, Jul 09 2015

Luna 13

Interview, Nov 30 2014

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016