by Kris Handel (@khandel84)
Blood on the Tracks is the debut full length of New Orleans duo Mac Folger and Rui de Marguilles (with help from Nicholas Corson on drums), and one that takes you on a ride that takes many detours through various genres. Although Lawn bounce around stylistically, the record maintains a fluidity and never really loses its momentum no matter the shifts in style. Folger and de Marguilles switch off on vocals and each bring their own sense of melody and style to proceedings. One of the best parts of this record is its undeniably catchy rhythmic sway that encourages you to physically interact with the music.
“2000 Boy” swings along jaunting power pop with some psychedelic undertones in the harmonized vocals as well as some swirling keyboard that is cut through with some Tommy Keene-esque guitar-work. It announces the record in a sharp and visceral manner that will have you energized and maybe even a little motivated to bounce and possibly even dance around a bit. “Jackson” also has a bit of the haze of late-60s psychedelia, due to some chiming keyboard and snaking guitar that juts in and out adding a bit of bite to the reflective nature of the song. There is a bit of reminiscence in play on “Jackson” as well as having the space to explore the possibilities of a new place and new beginnings.
The title track recalls a bit of the Modern Lovers with it’s chugging drum work and seemingly simple guitar interplay that really has more complexity than is obvious on the surface. There is an early DIY spirit which is clearly evident here which carries an extremely infectious and lively shout along chorus. More ground is mined in the post-punk field with “Vinnie” which stutters and shifts between sunny vocals that recall early Pink Floyd, and some wiry instrumental interplay full of brittle tension. Lawn also throw caution to the wind in the fast paced “Hips” that is a bit of a mix of the Buzzcocks and Wire with its use of repetition and hiccuping vocals.
Folger and de Marguilles have created a record that has moments you can pinpoint on the musical timeline but also keeps you guessing and engaged for all the twists and turns along the way. There is a bit of nostalgia on display, but Lawn also manage to keep everything bright and modern as well. Blood on the Tracks has a very charming and welcoming DIY feel in the musicianship, as well as the punk undertones to keep everything a bit spiky. Lawn prove themselves to be up to the task of tackling the genre shifting they choose to employ and with Blood on the Tracks have a debut full length that has a lot of character and vibrancy to it.