La Laque
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La Laque

Band Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"Frog Rock"

...Seemingly ripped from the sound tracks to every slow-moving early-'60's black-and-white masterpiece you learned to silmultaneously love and hate in your college film class. Fronted by a sexy siren teleported straight from a Godard casting call, La Laque explodes in a beautiful riot of beats and shrieks, leaving only a cloud of Gauloises smoke in its wake. It sounds like it wouldn't work. But, like so many things French, somehow it inexplicably does. Call it that certain je ne sais quoi. - V Magazine March, 2005, Christopher Bartley

"La Laque with the Affair at Rothko, June 15, '04 by Joe O'Brien"

And Ebert said of Kill Bill Vol. 1, “it’s all storytelling and no story.” He meant that as high praise, adding, “it’s kind of brilliant.” I feel the same way about Brooklyn-based La Laque- not that they, or any band currently on this planet, could compare their musical talents to Tarantino’s film wizardry. But what they do have in common with the Reigning King of All Pulp is the ability to combine numerous diverse fabrics into a tapestry so captivatingly stylish it can render substance (or lack thereof) irrelevant.
Bassist Brad Banks and drummer Pete Shanel creep with Serge Gainsbourg’s slow-burning lust one moment and dart around on mod motorbikes the next. Leah Hayes’ keyboards and Erin Boyette’s violin add centuries of sad eeriness, the ghosts of troubled romantics who drowned themselves in the Seine, all while Michael Leviton’s guitar worships at the rumbling altar of Link Wray.
Then there’s lead singer Devery. Great Heaven Almighty, then there’s Devery. She plays a role - coy chanteuse sex kitten- she strikes many a pose, yes- but she plays it all to perfection- she winks, she dances, she bites a finger of her white glove and stretches it flirtatiously, she sings and banters mostly in French (“Merci,” she usually whispers between songs, though tech difficulties at Rothko required her to temporarily chat with the sound guy and break character, though never her spell on the hot-blooded males with cameras in the front, and yes I was one of them, but strictly for journalistic purposes, of course.)

But she can sing too, at least as good as, maybe better than, Nico or any of Serge’s muses I’ve ever heard on record. And when she and the band bust into an English cover of “Put the Blame on Mame,” you still believe she’s the French seductress, only she grew up listening to the original and that’s why she sings it in perfect English, and they’re probably the only English words she can pronounce perfectly. And if the idea of a “Put the Blame on Mame” cover by the band I just described makes you groan, you should have stopped reading this long ago and started listening to your Rush library. The pure, unadulterated joy of sensuality, and no other substance, is what’s on stage in this cabaret, remember?
For instance, who is “The Girl in Room 13” and what’s she doing there? Who does she meet? I couldn’t tell you. It’s instrumental, except for some whispering by Devery. And what happened during “Le Weekend”? As I said, the lyrics are mostly en Francais, a language I know so poorly I have just exhausted 20% of my working vocabulary of said tongue. And as I also said, sometimes the lyrics are in English, but they’re still supposed to sound French. And they’re always drenched in smoky wet reverb, so even if they were in English and/or I understood French, I’m not sure I’d understand them anyway. I understand “Put the Blame on Mame” and that’s about it. But “The Girl in Room 13” could be up to anything as far as I’m concerned.
She could be a doomed Parisian prostitute dying of a drug OD. She could be a tormented lover with a gun in her hand and revenge on her mind. She could just be a tired poetess gazing at the wallpaper. “Le Weekend” could be two lovers’ absinthe-fueled marathon of amour, or a Band of Outsiders-inspired mini-crime spree, or both, or neither. If you speak French, don’t tell me what the story is, if there is one. If you don’t speak French, the sky’s the limit. The only certainty is that the soundtrack to whatever story pops in your head will be erotic, erotic, and draped in shadow.

It’s an ideal night club sound that lounged comfortably in Rothko, no doubt, though my romantic fool ass couldn’t help but long to one day again see La Laque the way I first saw them, on a Brooklyn roof after the Billyburg Short Film Festival last May, overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Seeing them at Rothko after that wasn’t necessarily disappointing, it was just like watching Kill Bill Vol. 1 on TV after seeing it in IMAX.
But just the same, I’ll rarely turn down an opportunity to watch KBV1 on DVD, and I’d probably enjoy it just as much if it were in French without subtitles, for the languages of passion and danger, of music and film, are usually at their most powerful when they transcend regular ol’ spoken language. And even if La Laque never again perform on a rooftop on a warm summer night, or if they never attempt to reach Vol. 2 levels of depth, it'll be hard for me to turn down an opportunity to see, hear and feel six of the sexiest style-mongers this city has to offer. -


"Summer's Almost Here" split 12" on Romantic Air Records


Feeling a bit camera shy


The music is sexy, romantic, but with a unique violence and horror to it. The sounds is characterized by whispery girl torch-singing, loud punk drums, reverby guitar, and delicately orchestrated organ and violin. And though the lyrics aren't in english, it's obvious what the songs are about. La Laque's mystery only serves the band's expressive power. La Laque has amassed an obsessive following without an album, simply due to the band's raw, intense, and sexy live shows.