Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lukestar - Lake Toba (2008)

Like the pasted-on smiles put on everyday for public display, there is a cold cheer to Lukestar that seems to front for more serious thoughts. However, unlike that handy simile, Lukestar have an irresistible catchiness that will sweep you up for the duration of their debut and have you coming back for more.

The first thing you'll notice about them is leadsinger Truls' effortlessly effeminate vocals. I've seen quite a few comparisons to Mew in this regard, which might be accurate after an estrogen overdose. However, although his tone is generally one forbidden for those with testicles, it never feels like he's trying too hard, nor does it feel over-polished. Supporting his excellent delivery is a bright pop-minded blend of indie rock full of punk confidence and catchy hooks. Light math rock elements are also worked in, alongside a decidely psychadelic mentality. Spacey synths peek out during quiet moments and song titles like "Clockworks of Tomorrow" and "In a Hologram" hint at more intelligent purpose than is normally expected. Sadly, it's hard to decipher the lyrics by Truls' voice.

This actually leads me to my only problem with the album. While the songs are catchy as fuck and rather uplifting, they beg for some personal, emotional connection, and in this case I just can't establish one without knowing the lyrics. I'll most likely come back to this review in the future once I know more on this end. As it stands, Lake Toba is still one of the best indie releases of 2008.

Verdict: Win [4/5]

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