Album Reviews

Lo Tom LP2 Punk Rock Theory
Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 09:29
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Lo Tom started as four old friends, who've known each other for 20+ years, playing music together: David Bazan (Pedro The Lion, Headphones), Trey Many (Velour 100, Starflyer 59, His Name is Alive), Jason Martin (Starflyer 59, Bon Voyage) and TW Walsh (Pedro The Lion, The Soft Drugs). They released an insanely good yet criminally underrated self-titled debut on Barsuk in 2017 and played a handful of shows. And that was pretty much all they had planned.

Except for the fact that they kept on trading song snippets, got together to work out arrangements, and then converged in the spring of 2019 to record what would become ‘LP2’. Just like its predecessor, the album comes with just eight songs. But this one is definitely a case of quality over quantity. Whereas they kept things kinda bare-boned on their debut, they threw everything but the kitchen sink at the songs this time around. Multi-tracked guitars, ambient synths, and layered vocals... it’s all present and accounted for on ‘LP2’. And I’m seriously liking this richer, more textured sound that makes their melodies shine even brighter.

Just check out ‘Start Payin’, the aptly named first single that was released alongside the message that they launched a Kickstarter campaign. The song packs some seriously heavy shoegaze-y guitars that should sound familiar to the Starflyer 59 fans out there and which work incredibly well with Bazan’s lyrics and vocal delivery. Or listen to ‘Outta Here,’ which comes with the kind of warm guitar sounds you just want to wrap yourself up in along with the line ‘I don’t wanna do this anymore’ in the chorus, all the more heartbreaking following the recent news of Bazan’s divorce.

I can keep on going about the band’s deeply personal lyrics, their tongue-in-cheek humor and their solid songwriting chops, but suffice to say that you need this album in your life. Clocking in at just 26 minutes and with not a single song lasting even a second longer than is necessary, this is one album that feels surprisingly complete in all of its conciseness.


Track listing:

  1. Start Payin'
  2. Suck It Up
  3. Outta Here
  4. I Need Relief
  5. No Margin of Error
  6. The Show
  7. Don't Look At Me
  8. In A Van