Luther - Let's Get You Somewhere Else
Record Label: Chunksaah Records
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Boasting a sound that hints at blue-collar punk rock a la Hot Water Music with a bit more smoothness to it, Luther seems poised to spread their collective wings into a catchy, but honest vibe. The band’s debut LP finds that nice one-two punch of gritty and punching without losing the attractiveness of a few slick riffs and some heart-tugging melodic work. Luther might have slid beneath the radar for a bit despite their pretty promising songwriting on their Siblings & Sevens EP, but Let’s Get You Somewhere Else sees the band making plenty of progression in their sonic realization. Yet whether you come for the matured songwriting or stay for the warmth of a catchy punk rock jam, Luther proves to be worthy of your attention regardless of your familiarity with them.
While much of the album is rooting in a very familiar sound, Luther seems to have caught onto a knack for songwriting not always found on debut LPs. The pulsing first track “The Concrete Sound” punches with a catchy guitar riff – something rather characteristic of this album as it pops up more often than not. It makes for an album that can run together a bit, but Luther does enough to split up the approach by not melding things together too much. “Backyard Fence Appeal” is a sure-fire summer jam, bursting in swooning vocal lines and buzzing leads in the chorus before a reigned in bridge sets the stage for the band to knock this one out of the park in the closing seconds. “A Quiet Stretch of Weather” does many of those things as well, at least in the vocal and guitar departments, while hovering in the middle-ground tempo that much of this disc succeeds in. Lyrically though, this one cements some earnest words into the mix (‘I’m not catering to anyone anymore’) as the slightly somber vibe is woven through an otherwise bright and bouncy feeling jam.
“Rattlesnake” though is the catalyst of the bunch, kicking off with claps and snare pops before a rather stripped down arrangement of sugary riffs and a climactic chorus. It stands out, not only because of instrumentation at points, but because of the pure catchiness of the melodic bombs dropped throughout. It isn’t the only standout though, with “The Glory Bees” turning the tempo dial down a bit in a slow-burner of a track that hums with sunny guitars and laid-back drumming. Again, the melodies paired with the honest-as-shit lyricism make this another heartfelt track to take in. “Sunset, Sugar” doesn’t quite shine as well though, as the slower tempo and love story are good but not great in the face of some of the other songwriting heard on the disc – with Luther sounding a little closer to The Gaslight Anthem or The Menzingers here. Closer “The Farmer and His Wife” reassures the band’s songwriting though, as the cresting melodies assist in the mid-tempo closer’s slow build towards a musical peak just as the record ends – swaying and pleading through verse and chorus as the band doesn’t back down from their straight-forward, yet engaging cuts of rock.
Yet through a pretty cohesive effort – armed with a one-two punch of honest and smooth vocals against the buzz of catchy fretwork – Luther’s debut LP packs the weight and appeal of everything you’d expect to hear in an alt-punk outfit such as this. The trick here is that Luther seems to do it better than most, making it an almost certainty that their matured songwriting and harkening vocals will make this album one you’d be foolish to miss out on.