Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Sep 1st 2009 6:00PM by Sam Sutherland
There's something enchanting about two people in love playing dirty rock 'n' roll songs. Justin Small and Kat Taylor-Small are Lullabye Arkestra, a band born of a mutual love of heavy music and each other -- and their latest release, the bare-bones 'Threats/Worship' on Vice Records, is a swaggering, half-hour testament to both.
Formed in 2001, the band pumped out a self-released CD within a year, but waited until 2006 to issue their proper debut full-length, 'Ampgrave.' Released on legendary Canadian indie Constellation Records -- Small's other band, Do Make Say Think, remain one of the label's most lauded acts -- the record was praised for its mix of retro heavy metal, gospel and Motown soul. Unfortunately, its scope proved problematic as soon as the band left the studio.
"'Ampgrave' took almost two years," Small tells Spinner while holed up with his wife/bandmate at their rehearsal space working on a Napalm Death cover. "We did one session, we scrapped songs, we re-wrote songs, we had horn players ..."
"We over-thought it," interjects Taylor-Small. "We spent too much time on overdubs and what else we could add to it. It was just adding and adding and adding, and in the end we had a record we couldn't pull off live. Or, at least, it came off very different live. The point of this record was to make something we could play [in concert] so it had to be just the two us. We recorded it in a weekend."
The result of Lullabye's new approach is the brutally simple 'Threats/Worship,' a straight-ahead rock record that throws the horns at bands like Black Sabbath and Motorhead without abandoning the core of what drew fans to 'Ampgrave' in the first place: the duo's songwriting prowess and powerhouse rhythm section.
Getting married probably hasn't hurt things within the band, either. "We do bicker in the rehearsal space like any band, but it stays there," Small says. "And band bickering is just stupid s--- anyway."
"A lot of it is based on bad communication between people," Taylor-Small adds. "When you've based your relationship on having good communication, it means you can talk with your partner about band issues the same way you talk about relationship issues."
"Besides, if there's a really bad argument in the rehearsal space," Small smirks," the make-up is ..."
Then they both laugh. A lot.