Written by: Volt Thrower
Skate rat doomers LáGoon are back again! Following up the maniacal mushroom meltdown of Maa Kali Trip from earlier this year, the two-piece has apparently one-upped into a power trio after seeing the light. They kicked ass as a duo, but have found that missing piece that will really solidify their status in the stoner rock world. Now with their fourth full length and seventh release in just a shade over two years, they remind me of King Blizzard and the Hizzard Whatevers...except LáGoon's music is actually enjoyable.
In all seriousness I do enjoy KG+tLW, I was obsessed with Im in Your Mind Fuzz in 2014/15, but have not been a huge fan of anything else until their latest. LáGoon, however, have been nothing short of a rocketship ascending.
If you’re one of the chuds who are too cool for anything stoner related, swirling their red wine in a goblet in their black metal dungeon, you probably won’t like this band. Anyone else who doesn't take themselves too seriously have probably already nodded along to stoner staples such as "Grim Ripper" or "Worship the Van." To be along for the journey in their musical progression from those early tracks, to the psycho tripper in "The Peak," and now to new tracks like "Resuscitation" or "Stab and Cut," has been incredible to witness.
That must have been one hell of a truffle trip, for just mere months after Maa Kali Trip, the band has returned more mature, more focused, and much, much darker. Everything has been refined, while simultaneously given the room for an expansiveness that they haven't really explored before. Gone are the samples and wordy intro-outros, replaced with (obviously) a bass guitar now, but also some touches of organ and synth that create a heavy atmosphere. Right from the get-go everything feels darker on the opener/title track. It’s still LáGoon's fun, unmistakable garage doom sound, but instead of lyrics about kush and kickflips, it’s about hardships and death through the lens of the doom bringer himself on the first two songs.
"Resuscitation" will most likely end up on my Songs of the Year list. This is an absolute highlight in the bands discography, and is the best ‘Elder’ song since 2017, while still undeniably their own sound. The slow picked intro, before the full band explosion into the earworm riff is terrific. When they switch up the pace at precisely the halfway mark, it is just *mwuah* chef’s kiss. The track remains mostly instrumental until they shift pace again for the last couple minutes with yet another banging riff. The low chanting vocals push the atmosphere over the top while the ebbs and flows transition beautifully into "Bloodied Mouth." Another signature catchy riff, with some nice solos and guitar layering. The lyrics focus on domestic violencem, just trying to weather the storm--a theme that ties together the final three tracks.
One of my only issues with the album is the mirrored shouts of the spoken word vocal style on "Broken Oath," but even that manages to be catchy while riding the wave of the massive "Asteroid" sounding riff. The other is it's too damn short at just 26 minutes, although if that's the result of trimming some fat off I'm all for it. After the gloomy, moody closer of "Stab and Cut," another feather in the cap for LáGoon, you’re left sitting in a smoldering pile of your emotions, but just can't help hitting play one more time.
Father of Death is an absolutely massive step forward in every way from a band who now demands attention beyond the skateboarding stoner scene. I had tickets to see LáGoon at a cancelled show in April, which is a bummer because by the next time they roll around I won't be hearing my favorite tunes as there will likely be two more albums to promote by then. Oh well, keep striking while the iron is hot, I suppose. I'll keep on listening.
LáGoon - Father of Death will be independently released June 19th
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!