BEST NEW MUSIC / VINYL CORNER
Is This A Party Or An Intervention? You get the feeling that it is certainly a valid question in the case of Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. Can we take the Big Lebowski references a little too far would be another appropriate question probably. The band makes no bones about starting out as a joke side-project band whose intention was to get drunk and write some short punk rock tunes. Something went terribly wrong though. Somewhere along the way, LLUA became a real band with real songs and perhaps even a purpose. OK, so maybe that purpose of drinking, having fun and playing music has not changed very much. But, the results surely have.
Little Lebowski Urban Achievers play melodic punk rock with a memorable, witty charm. Drawing influences from their hometown of Minneapolis (Dillinger Four, The Replacements, Husker Du, Lifter Puller) and bands like Jawbreaker and Leatherface, LLUA make an instant impression. The 7″ starts off with the Jawbreaker-esque “I Wish I Knew How To Quit You” which is over far too fast. Closing Side A is a gem of a song, the gorgeously titled, “A Touch Of Dickel In Your Mouth.” The song brings to mind the best offerings of melodic punk bands like Jawbreaker, Husker Du and Leatherface. Side B contains “It’s A Fine Line You Walk In The Wife Swapping Business” which brings the Lifter Puller and The Hold Steady comparisons to light.
Also included with the 7″ is the CD format which contains bonus material from the band’s unreleased 2005 sessions. That is important to note as those six songs stand up quite nicely to the three more recent recordings offered on the 7″. Production-wise they are a little rougher and overall the songs are more punk rock but they stand out quite admirably. Included in those six songs is perhaps the greatest song title of all time, “John Olerud Hasn’t Changed In 10 Years, So Why The Hell Should I?” Oh yeah, and the song is pretty damn good too. Call me crazy but “Deficit Spending” has a raw poetic feel to it that reminds me of early Dischord emo bands like Rites Of Spring or Embrace. Raw, sloppy, fun and most importantly, real. LLUA are able to touch on that primal energy that seems lost far too often in music these days.
What I love about LLUA is that you truly see what can happen when friends get together to play music with absolutely no agenda, pretension or expectations. To their surprise it has blossomed into something these guys probably never could have conceived. For better or worse, LLUA are here to party and drink your beer. So, please leave the bullshit at the door!
RIYL: Jawbreaker, Dillinger Four, The Hold Steady