With the best recording of anything to come out of Greencastle, Lagging Leftward’s style of Led Zepplin and Lynyrd Skynyrd-like rock is also a bold step in a direction that was previously untouched by the whole of Greencastle music. One thing that hampers the band would be the length of each track on this demo, with the shortest track averaging out at over 4 minutes. Repetition is the key for the band, as each track has Lagging Leftward repeat a key phrase forty of fifth time, each guitar line as many times, and as a result, each track doesn’t go very far in experimentation. Lagging Leftward has solid arrangements and a professionality to their sound that goes far beyond any random band that has been around for such a short time, but still lacks in the ability to approach new styles and genres with the ease of a Guns ‘n’ Roses or Deep Purple. “For Peace”, aside from the very Bob Marley-styled delivery of the vocals by Brian, finds itself in a Corrosion of Conformity-“Animosity” era and creaks out to epic proportions. “For Peace” reaches well over 8 minutes, and while I can see how individuals into jam bands will find this sort of rote repetition desirable, the track just goes stale around the 5 minute mark and never looks back.
The third track, “Dig It” has neither the simplistic charm that the previous two tracks have found success in or the laid back nature that both followed in. The screaming guitars of Rob find themselves flying over the staggered and sometimes off-beat drumming of Larry. Also failing to elicit their listeners with “Tomorrow”, this acid soak track sounds hollow and anemic, overly-distorted and strung out beyond belief. Lagging Leftward shows themselves to not be completely enervated with the up-tempo “Tomorrow”. Anthemic guitar and bass lines intertwine themselves and Rob’s sizzling solos pick up the disc after the slow-plodding “Tomorrow”. The disc ends with a cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter”, and the entire disc continues its extreme cohesion. However, this cohesion more than once crosses over into bland repetition, and while Lagging Leftward are incredibly proficient with their instruments, some of the songs explore the same territory without adding much in the way of innovation. Hopefully, as the band matures, new avenues and alleyways will be explored that will give the average listener a greater stake in the band.
Top Track: Politician
Lagging Leftward – Self-Titled / 2004 Self-Released / 8 Tracks / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 21 September 2004