The LaFontaines - 'Junior' Album Review
1. All In
3. Anything At All
4. Switch Out The Light
7. Tomorrow Won't Worry Me
The LaFontaines have just released their third album “Junior”, following on from 2017’s excellent “Common Problem”. Having dealt with living with the economic challenges of modern Britain with their debut “”Class” and the post Brexit political landscape with “Common Problem”, where will the band point their focus this time? In truth, they’re looking inward; this is much more a personal, introspective collection of songs than we’ve seen from these sons of Motherwell, but no less relevant in today’s world.
The album opens with “All In” which sets the tone for the rest of the album - Kerr singing over a powerful rhythm section, with Jamie’s vocals which contrast so sharply they almost sound like samples…the blurb draws comparisons to The Streets, which I get, and also Kasabian which I don’t. The power of the music, the little drop outs and the different textures of vocals remind me more of those Mad Funkers from Epsom, particularly on songs like “Alpha” and “Anything At All” or even Faith No More on “Tomorrow Won’t Bother Me”. There are nods to influences yes but, refreshingly, these influences have been used to enhance the band’s own sound.
One of the things I really loved about this album is that it operates on multiple levels – there’s the superficial level where you just take each song as it comes, enjoying the fusion of Hip Hop, Rock and Pop but if you’re willing to dig a bit deeper then there are lyrics that really resonate, dealing with mental health and accepting who and what you are and learning to be OK with it. “Pro” is the perfect example; on the surface it’s just a brilliant Pop record (you could imagine it on constant radio rotation over the summer) but there’s this other, edgier, side which contrasts deliciously with the feel-good vibe of the tune. Kerr has said of “Junior” that it’s ‘the first time I’ve ever felt comfortable enough to talk about depression and addiction and the most honest evaluation of self’. There’s not one track on the album that you can’t take something from; whether that’s inspiration or just the reassurance that you’re not alone feeling the way you do.
This is an accomplished third album from The LaFontaines, the writing is stronger than ever and they are really establishing themselves as a woefully under rated band. In fact, the only disappointing thing about this album is that it’s only 29 minutes long but this is easily resolved by putting it on repeat – which I did…lots.
Website - thelafontaines.co.uk
Review - Chris Watson