Sunday 15th October 2017
2. Too Late
3. Common Problem
5. Hang Fire
9. What Do I Know
10. Total Control
11. Release The Hounds
Having built a reputation as one of Scotland’s most exciting live bands, The LaFontaines are making a name for themselves and fast. They’ve already sold out Glasgow’s Barrowlands, played London’s KOKO and the main stage at T in the Park; and they’ve also performed at The Great Escape, TRNSMT and Download Festival. Their debut album “Class” charted in the UK Top 100 and Scottish Top 10, and went on to score Number 1 in the UK Indie Breakers chart back in 2015. Now, 2 years later the band are back with their next brutally honest and outpouring offering in the shape of their next album “Common Problem.”
“Common Problem is a much darker record than our debut release,” says front-man Kerr Okan. “We’re not as young and naive as we were in our early twenties. We’ve been around the world as a band, seen a lot of things and discovered our one big Common Problem… There is a lot of angst, truth and reality held within this album.”
Straight off the bat I knew this album would hit me instantly, and I was excited with anticipation for what was about to be laid at my feet. With a sound that fuses together rock music with elements of rap, hip-hop and pop, it’s great to finally hear a band that are ready to sit at the top table with the likes of Twenty One Pilots and Twin Atlantic. In fact, with opening track “Explosion” I reckon these guys would be able to tear through a Pendulum set quicker than it would take for the mic to drop.
Lead single “Common Problem” opens with a sound familiar to Paramore “Hard Times” and this is exactly where the pop influences start to shine through, and as the first release from the album it shows off the unique capabilities of The LaFontaines. Think along the lines of Macklemore who uses all the same rap to pop components, and of the same ilk these guys then carry that on through to the rest of the album in to an honest, raw insight of the realities the band are desperate for you to hear.
Remember when the Arctic Monkeys wrote a song telling us about the seedy streets of Sheffield? Well, “Armour” has the same edge to it but with a lot more raucous energy, and an anthemic chorus that is bound to make this a live favourite. “Atlas” is a bittersweet track, with Kerr singing “let me tell you about the pain of being alone, you can tell me about the pain of being with someone.” whilst “Release The Hounds” reels back in to an indie-pop track, before “Asleep” pounces in and finishes off the album with its trippy bass line.
I realise that I have made quite a few comparisons to other artists, but that’s because to sum it up, this album is amazing. The LaFontaines aren’t like anything that I have heard in a long time, and trying to pin point who I can relate these guys to is quite difficult. The reason for that is simply because they’re not trying to fit in to any mould or fill another bands shoes, they’re authentic and bring an originality to the rock genre.