What Laura Says - Thinks and Feels CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, August 08, 2008

What Laura Says - Thinks and Feels CD Review

What Laura Says - Thinks and Feels CD ReviewWhat Laura Says stirred up a major buzz on the indie rock scene after the band played a few shows at SxSW this year, which included the all-star tribute to Lou Reed.

On August 19th, the band will be releasing their debut CD , Thinks and Feels, which is an incredibly eclectic but charming disc. This disc seems to incorporate influences as diverse as "Smile"-era Beach Boys, pre-Revolver Beatles, Grateful Dead/CCR style country rock and the mellow-side of 70's rock. With this range of influences, it is little wonder that the band is signed to The Annuals' Terpsikhore Records.

The first song on the disc, "Couldn't Lose Myself", sets the tone for the rest of the disc. The track starts with a man's voice counting off the time ("One and Two and Three and Four") and quickly segues into some rich multi-part vocal harmonies. Midway through the song, there is an Oingo-Boingo style breakdown and the band switches over (mid-piece) into a piano-driven rocker. From here, the band goes into "Fashionably Moral", which is a Canned Heat/Grateful Dead style country rock tune. There are tempo, tune and style changes throughout this disc.

To try and break the remainder of the disc into styles/genres:
- "Illustrated Manual" is a piano-rocker but the band's vocals harmonies push this past any of the Ben Folds/Billy Joel comparisons
- "Wish I Could Fly" is predominately an a cappella tune that is carried on the band's multi-part harmonies
- "Dot Dot Dot" is pure 70's lite-rock in the spirit of Harry Nilsson or Randy Newman
- "Paradice" is one of my favorite tracks on this disc. This track uses movie theatre effects as an intro and outro and the core of the song is simply a great rock and roll tune
- "Waves" is a Jeff Buckley/60's crooner-style tune
- "Get Better Soon" goes back down the 70's country path and the song is complete with shakers and what sounds like a saw blade
- "July 23" is almost comparable to David Gilmour's Pink Floyd songs
- "1000 Faces" has a Doobie Brothers' style California swing
- "Done What's Right" is an Annuals' style spiritual. This tune segues into a hidden track which is an atmospheric instrumental

This is great stuff and I would love to see how the band performs material this diverse live on stage. The band is currently touring around Arizona (check their MySpace page for details and dates) but hopefully some East Coast dates will follow the CD release.

If anyone is wondering about the band's name, Get Out (appears to be an AZ equivalent of the Village Voice ) asked the band about the name in an interview last year. Here is what they had to say:
Get Out: So who is the “laura” of the group’s name?

The band doesn’t really have an answer — there is no specific “laura,” so the band isn’t able to explain what “she” says, thinks or feels. “We just like to think there’s a little a little laura in everybody,” says [keyboard/guitar/vocals Danny] Godbold.