Who was it said that Motown is dead? It sure as heck ain’t in Laneous & The Family Yah’s neck-of-the-woods. Nor, it seems, is Zappa, or older-school rap, or upon occasion a bit of good old-fashioned rawk ‘n’ roll or playfully punky shout-a-longs. Throw in a few more “contemporary” ingredients, such as Aussie hip-hop and the more tasteful end of the modern “r’n’b” sound, and you have one very awesome and fascinating band.
I recently had the great pleasure of witnessing this bunch live, supporting none less than the legendary Regurgitator, and it’s hardly surprising this group found themselves on such an esteemed bill because: a. they’re really bloody good, and b. they share The Gurge’s predeliction towards heady musical eclecticism. If you delight in records which leap from one genre to the next at the merest whim, throwing one curve-ball after another until you concede that you’re not at all certain what to expect next, whilst somehow still maintaining a semblance of musical continuity by way of clever sequencing which returns the listener back to familiar territory at semi-regular intervals – ya get all that? – then you may very well dig this. And if not, then there’s still the distinct probability that you’ll enjoy one or two of the tracks on offer here in and of themselves, unless of course you’re completely allergic to the sweaty lure of the dancefloor.
Without ever being completely alienating to those with more “mainstream” sensibilities, this is by and largely music to shake the booty and stir the soul, and upon occasion, leave the head both shaken AND stirred by the sheer abundance of ideas competing for space here. Indeed, there are moments when this band’s musical cup threatens to messily runneth over, but in a modern music scene chock-full o’ bands without two good ideas to rub together, this seems a relatively minor quibble…and one need only listen to a track as perfectly realised as the sublimely soulful “Bad Son” to hear how fundamentally funking awesome this band really are. Definition of a “catchy” song?! One which has me singing along by the end of the first listen, gawdammit!! Other immediate stand-out tracks include the joyfully zany “I Am Dog”, the stirring sing-a-long of “Pine Nut” and the gleefully schizophrenic – and preposterously groovy – “Danger” (simply adore that funky-assed synth)!
Basically, if you can’t find something to like on this record, then you have no fucking soul and will burn in Hell with no friends to keep you company. This is “the shit”, to put it as eloquently as possible, and if we’re lucky we’ll all go to Heaven and find that it has choirs who sing as gorgeously as the good folk in this band. And any group that succeeds in making female rapping, of all things, seem actually pretty awesome must be doin’ somethin’ right. Long Live Laneous!!
© Michael Bowser, Music Vice