Norway - Full Moon 52 - 01/09/01
Here's the very the very first release on the somewhat infamous Fuzzlogic label. There
seems to be some connection to the web-site you're visiting right now... And yes, at closer
inspection one of Lawndive's two guitarists is identified as our very own chef here at Luna
Kafé . Let's give it a spin anyhow. Who cares about journalistic integrity. So far our chef
has duplicated about 30 copies of the disc himself at home. We certainly do not talk about a
commercial release. You don't get any more fun than you prepare for yourself!
Now what is Lawndive up to? Certainly not much these days. The band existed between 1992
and 1994 and contributed two tracks to a CD compilation called Wrought in 1993 along
with other local bands from a region in the northern part of Norway. Another band represented
on Wrought was called Abby's Adoption. They later changed name to Madrugada and ought to be
familiar to regular Luna Kafé visitors. Half the songs on Lawndive were recorded live in
February 94 at the release party for Wrought. The others are recorded in a studio, sort
of, a few moons later.
It's difficult to categorise Lawndive's music. Some of the songs seem inspired by American
guitar-based rock of the 70s, 80s and 90s, though no particular bands spring to mind. What I
like most is the way the band utilizes the two guitars once in a while. Instead of the usual
rythm and solo guitar we get two solo/twin guitars simultaneously. A bit like Quicksilver
Messenger Service, perhaps, though I find no other obvious connection to San Francisco of the
60s. (Or maybe Wishbone Ash, eh?) The prime example is Mysterious Moments where the
guitars entwine to great effect. Tic Toc and Endless Considerations are among
other favourites with quiet parts succeeded by heavier or punkier parts which give more
dynamics than other songs.
The live songs were recorded directly onto DAT and represent a fresh Lawndive on a good
night, I guess, although the vocals get hoarser as the gig proceeds. The studio recordings
sound more laid-back. They were quickly mixed down to a cassette tape which is the source for
these cuts, the cover tells us. There are plans to remix these songs and that seems to be a
good idea. Especially the drums deserve a better treatment. Happy is certainly the
funniest of these songs, with the most hilarious chorus I've heard for some time. Maybe
vocalist Arne Mikalsen should have kept the other band members away from his microphone?
Life Is What You Make It is the experimental ending of the CD with some innovative use
of guitar, guitar and vocal effects. It's another favourite and maybe a direction the band
ought to have followed further if they hadn't folded soon afterwards.
Lawndive doesn't represent the band at its upmost technical perfection. But it's
the only way it's been possible to distribute any music of the band apart from the Wrought
compilation. Nowadays if you first have the recording and data equipment, it's cheaper to
spread you music via mp3-files on the net or CDs such as this than ever. It might not kill
the commercial music industry yet, although it's about time. So we welcome releases such as
this, almost anyhow. And if a second edition of the album includes remixed versions of the
studio recordings, even more so! The CD has been compiled first and foremost for the band
members' own pleasure. But I guess our chef can make you a copy if you send him a word.
Copyright © 2001 JP