The latest album from Bristol-based Kid Lazuras is the twelve-track ‘Utopia’. The record functions as a concept-album and features plenty of different styles that the band manages to make work together and fit with one another.
The first track, Fall For The Break, is a semi-ballad with a piano and organ which channels a lot of post-punk and dark electronica vibes. The production of the instruments is balanced and modern, albeit being in a nostalgic album inspired by the popular goth rock and post-punk movements of the late 80s and early 90s. With this opening song we are introduced to the depressive side of the existential crisis and confused identity questions that this album is discussing. We are also introduced to the duality of the spoken-like dark male vocals and the melodic “weeping” that the female vocals do. The second track, Men Of God, begins with a powerful guitar riff and a groovy bass line that bring a brooding atmosphere. Once the vocals kick in, both vocalists show a level of anger and being pissed-off that wasn’t expected after the previous song’s (mostly) soft singing. There’s a keyboard interlude between the verses, and once we reach the second half of the song I got some old Marilyn Manson vibes and the whole mood was more aggressive. The following track, In Ether, has an electronic synth line as well as electronic percussions with the female vocals making an ethereal tone over lobg intervals of time. The grooviness of the bass line made me expect shorter vocal lines than what this song has, but the execution that the vocalist does is mind-blowingly catchy and sounds like a haunting chant/prayer. The brief guitar solo has a powerful impact and will remind you a little bit of the old/demo-era Evanescence.
The title track is the longest track here. In it’s well-thought-out and well-arranged eight minutes we can hear some ambient sounds with tribal percussion in the intro. The lo-fi guitar continues with a similar drum pattern on the electronic kit and the male vocals singing some amazingly dark and deep notes to accompany them. I’m amazed by the how the band’s two vocalists are completely different yet completely harmonious. You wouldn’t be at fault if you called this song the unlawful child of Radiohead and Bauhaus, thanks to its alternative sound coupled with the broodingly dark atmosphere. Following that is the track “All Over Again“, which has my favorite chorus on the whole album by a longshot. The keyboards and bassline intertwine here to create that dark and dancy sound. The female vocals impressed me ince again, with the last chorus being a bit higher than the previous ones. Fantastic keyboard work throughout the track too. You Find is the most rock n roll-ish track on the whole record, with its powerful acoustic drums, guitar effects, and the wonderful vocal duet that’s going on. The drums and bass are spot-on, and every element of this track is super tight and shows the band’s tight chemistry.
Run On Out is a beautiful instrumental track that shows all the elements that make the album great from the groovy bass lines and pummeling drums all the way to the electronic keyboards and synths. It’s followed by another long track, Refuge, which has an extended intro with some tribal percussions and Asian sounds before the vocals being to appear. It’s definitely the most unique and different track on the whole record. Weaponised is a three-minute instrumental track with more amazing melodic guitar lines that have that rock n roll vibe. Capital is the track that brings back the riff-based compositions and sheer aggressive sound from before in an amazing way. Immaterial is a dark song that serves as an interlude before the final track and has a film-noir like atmosphere. The twelfth and final track, Words Are Just Another Way, makes the albym come full circle as it ends in the same piano-ballad kind of composition as the first track. At least it puts a calm and collected ending to the identity crisis journey the album took us through. Wonderful ending to a wonderful record.