Lynx Music 2018
Polish lady and the lads issue time-defying debut and give the darkness a heavy spank.
Beautiful faces, no cares in this world: that’s what a blissful time in the mid-’80s felt like, when those who played hard rock remembered it was all about pleasure rather than existential gloom – and that’s the pulsating vein this Warsaw collective tap into on their first album. With emotional overflow, there’s all the right reasons for bombast and arena-sized riffs which are given a nice groove by the likes of “Hit The Road Again” and a sharp edge by pieces such as “Mr. Freaky” – and not for nothing there’s a “Fuck you” attached to its coda. Defiance, though, wouldn’t be the defining force of the quintet’s record.
A delicate classical piano may kiss the acoustic balladry of “Free Fallin'” before bass and drums kickstart “City Lights” to let it soar in AOR skies, and organ oils “Monkey-Spirit” – the heaviest, if irresistibly infectious, number in the group’s repertoire – yet these are mere elements of their armory. So while a few tracks take some time to build up the tension, the minute-long intros get washed away once Katarzyna Bieńkowska’s husky vocals deliver on the sweet promise of “I Wanna Rock Your Love” or drive “You Get Stuck On Me” toward boiling point – note the strategically placed pronouns – only to see Mirosław Skorupski’s ivories evolve from opulent texture to cosmic wigout and Paweł Gromadzki’s guitar fan out into lush harmonies.
But “Lighthouse” has rock ‘n’ roll assault married to a more serious subject matter, whereas, combining attack with pop hooks on “Show That Feelin'” – which is as visceral as it is danceable – the band wear unbridled passion on their sleeve and show no shame in calling their audience to sing along. Still, the full scope of the ensemble’s palette will be revealed on the album’s 10-minute finale – the epic, impressive statement of “Here I Am” that wraps all the elements of their style in orchestral sweep to establish the young group’s presence. They’re here to stay.