The straight-forward emo rock of Lakota makes for tracks that are relentless in their mission, trying to make the most compelling music for both Clearchannel listeners and individuals that must have interesting arrangements in their music. In a sense, tracks like “She Has It” maintain some of the same fury of early Foo Fighters recording, in that the general tempo is somewhat aurally similar to the aforementioned band’s “Everlong”.
When tracks like “Quiet Like Graces” bring vocals into the instrumental realm (as Kayne’s work during the track is memorable in terms of tone and ability), Lakota has stumbled into the perfect mixture, the proper blend of punk and emo. It is during the watershed track “Slow Fade” that Lakota truly makes their first brush with perfection; using a straddling-type of approach (a la Rise Against), the driving rhythms of the track will cause listeners to put the track alongside those from the halcyon days of emo (even into the pantheon of emo songs, mainly filled with Fugazi and Desert City Soundtrack songs). The production of “Hope For The Haunted” really supports the band; it is Jamie Woolford’s (ex-The Stereo) masterful control of the knobs that allows this disc to truly shine; this album is “A Boy Named Goo” and “Can I Say” all rolled up into one cohesive album.
“Video You” is another of the disc’s highest crags; the Spartan arrangement of the guitar and bass at times during the disc brings a rage, a bubbling fury to the track that has been hidden until then. What is surprising is the strength that is show with such a cohesive album like “Hope For The Haunted”; a great many of the bands that put forth such a tightly-grouped album are not able to continually create reasons to keep the disc on. Lakota, even in the later stages of this disc, make tracks that are all-around rocking (“Make/Break”) while not having to shift their focus to a dynamic that a manager felt should be pandered to. Never a band to rest on its laurels, Lakota makes the entirety of “Hope For The Haunted” memorable, a true piece of pop perfection. The album may not contain the virtuosity present on other discs, but looking at it in a purely arrangement way, nothing will easily top “Hope For The Haunted”. Lakota wins on the fact that this album is arranged so well, but gets extra points for making an album that so easily ties together the last three decades of music.
Top Tracks: Wait and See, She Has It
Lakota – Hope For The Haunted / 2005 Pop Up / 12 Tracks / http://www.lakotarock.com / http://www.popuprecords.com / Reviewed 31 July 2005