In October 2011 Buckinghamshire based ambient hardcore band Lakes released their debut mini-album “These Minutes” to mixed reviews across the metal/hardcore community. Personally, it did take a few listens for this reviewer to get fully immersed in it.
Ten months later and after playing a number of shows and tours across the UK they are set to release a brand new EP this month before their full length drops in 2013.
The first track “This Ship” shows Lakes can produce fine work. The guitars are upfront and taking no prisoners (in a few years Dave Cookson and Darren Cooper will be seen as masters of their craft). The rhythm section (consisting of Andy Kelly on bass and Jamey Hansford-White on drums) are key to the flow of the track right from the opening verse through to the hard hitting breakdowns, and the fragility of the chorus. Layered on top of all this controlled chaos Daniel Norman’s inimitable cathartic low and gravelly vocal gives the listener the impression that the world is full of shit and he is going to do something about it.
The chorus in all its fragile beauty is where the band makes its mark. It even gave this author goose bumps and a feeling I’ve not felt since hearing “Like it’s your last” by Devil Sold His Soul.
To paraphrase the haunting lyrics to the chorus Lakes are indeed like the “Waves crashing over” and this time next year they “will slowly take control”
Knives & Wire is a slightly different beast compared to “This Ship”. The main difference between the two tracks is Knives & Wires is a brooding slice of metallic noise which will gladly grab you by the chest screaming “listen to me”.
Musically the unit play every note with passion and raw aggression, it sounds like each individual instrument is getting thrashed within an inch of its life.
The vocals once again sound like Daniel Norman is using this as a platform to exorcise many a demon. This is evident in lyrics such as
“Always the ones left forgotten. Never the ones who forget” and
“And as I breathe, These last few final breaths, Hide sounds inside and cower And off of this tower”.
The end of the song is a beautifully arranged slab of ambience which is something the Lakes boys perform with such ardour.
On the whole it did take a couple of listens to appreciate Knives & Wire but now its lodged in my brain and will continue to stay there for quite some time.
On a personal level This Ship is the better track of the two but if the boys carry on writing songs of this calibre they will be ones to watch over the next few years. Look for them to be headlining bigger clubs by the end of 2013.
Download the EP from: http://wearelakes.wix.com/wearelakes#!chapterone/mainPage
Written by Dai Skulls