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Madrid, Madrid, Spain | INDIE

Madrid, Madrid, Spain | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


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"Layabouts - Layabouts"

Layabouts are a young five-piece band from Madrid. They are open about what they like, and including Joy Division, the Cure and Franz Ferdinand amongst their influences and above all American garage bands of the 70’s, sing in English and play gutsy rock ‘n’ roll with a heart.

Their eponymous debut album gets off to a slightly limp start with ‘Stop the Replay’, which suffers from a somewhat muddied production. The other ten remaining tracks are, however, much crisper in sound, and ‘Layabouts’, with its tales of heartbreak and boredom, soon picks up in both pace and volume.

‘Despite the Neons’ and ‘Care’, two of the middle tracks, push Marti Perarnau’s shimmering keyboards to the fore to fine effect. The album is also brought to a superb, suitably stormy close with ‘Perfect Day’, and the breathless, yelping vocals of singer and bassist Jan Arias and the stop-start duelling guitars of Javier Castellano and Robert Sudrez.

It could be argued that Layabouts aren’t doing anything that hasn’t been done a million times before and are a little too in awe of their musical heroes the Stooges and the New York Dolls. This is music, however, which comes straight from the gut and soul, and that never pretends to be anything which it is not. In Arlas Layabouts have an especially acrobatic-throated frontman. The four musicians who back him, who also include drummer Victor Alvarez, are also taut and focused in their playing, and are never less than energetic or enthusiastic.

One is left with the impression from listening to ‘Layabouts’ that its musicians are in music for all the right reasons and, far from worrying about how big they can make their bank balance, are there to see simply how much fun they can bring out of it to themselves and to their audience.

This is both an admirable and very enjoyable debut album. - Penny Black Music

"Layabouts - Layabouts"

Finally, nearly 3 years since forming, Layabouts get the UK release they’ve always deserved.

After having being hyped up in Spain for years now, it is about time the UK has a chance to see what this band are all about.

After a prestigious support slot with Fountains of Wayne on their Spanish tour earlier this year, Layabouts appear to be in a rich vein of form, and with a visit to the UK this summer, Layabouts can prove their worth yet further.

Their self-titled debut is 40 minutes of pure, solid garage rock at its very best. From the fierce riffs of ‘Fine for Me’, the lead single, to the final thrashings of ‘Cut My Strings’, it’s a ‘hundred mile an hour record’ that appears to echo their live performances. However, if there is a dark shadow over this album, it is that it is too solid for its own good.

There is nothing that stands out about this record; it covers no new ground and also has no clear cut hits. The album is further plagued, with lyrical atrocities such as ‘Decisions must be taken so quickly, so easy… in the sunshine’. Nevertheless, it’s a good effort from an up and coming group, but you sense that Layabouts will make it no further here in the UK unless more killer tunes are written.

Despite this, it’s well worth a listen, and it’s clearly worth watching these guys live.

Sean Phillips
- Tasty Fanzine

"Layabouts - Layabouts"

Madrid indie rockers are Spain’s best amateurs; Castille’s own Muse.

Madrid’s Layabouts are embryonic indie rockers who draw their influences from far and wide. Joy Division, BRMC seventies American garage bands and some sixties influences can all be referenced in their self-titled debut album which is jammed with huge riffs and dynamic percussion.

‘Stop the Replay,’ sets out their stall. The whacking guitars duel with heavy drum licks on a song about finding motivation. The bass descends on ‘Rat in a Lab,’ which succeeds in conveying the desperation of the caged rodent if it were planning its escape to the soundtrack of The Editors in gothic mood. Their first single ‘Fine for me,’ starts like The Jam’s ‘A Bomb in Wardour Street,’ then becomes a big Bon Jovi stadium rocker. Then ‘Got you,’ exhibits some Strokes tendencies. ‘Care,’ showcases their musical talents but would work better as an instrumental. My enjoyment of the song is stopped in its tracks when they rhyme evil with Knievel before descending into spoken word.

The album closes with ‘Perfect day,’ which evokes both Muse and Bauhaus with muffled angst ridden vocals galloping alongside the urgent beats.

Considering English is only their second language they just about get away with it. I have certainly heard worse lyrics from aspirant British bands. Yet their strength lies in their frenetic sound, which is dominated by the ever-present driving rhythms with keys and synths to give it dimension.

This tight little outfit were voted best amateur band by Spain’s radio listening public.

Lets hope they can make the leap to professional status.

By: Mandy Williams
- Subba Cultcha

"Layabouts - Layabouts"

"Where Brandon Flowers’ vocals are pompous and overbearing, Jo Arias’ distorted vox don’t dominate but fit around the music, there’s no sense of the music being made to fit the singing, no self-indulgent ego-boosting or silly moustaches."

With Eurovision on the way and a whole glut of hideous Europop to come from all across the continent, it’s nice to hear that within the nations of Europe real music is still fighting to be heard. No matter how derivative this album is, it has a certain charm that the multinational entrants of Eurovision generally fail to muster.

Layabouts have chosen to wear their influences quite brazenly on their sleeve; The Killers, The Sunshine Underground and Franz Ferdinand predominantly. They’ve taken the guitars, keys and vocals of The Killers and mixed it with the beat of Franz Ferdinand, creating a bizarre though quite catchy amalgam of sound and style that works surprisingly well. Where Brandon Flowers’ vocals are pompous and overbearing, Jo Arias’ distorted vox don’t dominate but fit around the music, there’s no sense of the music being made to fit the singing, no self-indulgent ego-boosting or silly moustaches.

On the flipside, Layabouts do have a tendency to drift off into monotony sometimes. For example, ‘Got You’ is reminiscent of The Strokes or The Hives, simply arranged and played; it commands no real interest. The guitar chords plod along, the bass copies and the vocals croak away merrily on top, you kind of forget it’s on sometimes. The following track ‘Despite The Neons’ rings of The Bravery, yet with a bit more bite in the chorus, a hint of aggression that their inspiration lack and which makes Layabouts all the more enjoyable, even whilst they’re hammering away at the same ideas throughout.

As a debut album and ambassadors of the Spanish rock scene, there’s little here to criticise. With support slots having been fulfilled with Fountains Of Wayne and the accolade of being voted ‘2006's Best New Band’ in Spain, the future is certainly burgeoning towards some degree of success for Layabouts; they’re brimming with potential and as soon as they lose their habit of sounding a lot like other people and rarely like themselves, they’ll have something tangible and promising to build on. The difficult second album may turn out to be quite easy for them in the long run.
- New Noize


Layabouts -April, 2007 - WTR022 - Wild Thing Records, Spain-

Corrupted scene behind the stage -May, 2009 - HR001 - Homeless Records, Spain-

...And they ran into the woods - Sep, 2009 - HR002 - Homeless Records, Spain

Desertika - March, 2010 - HR003 - Homeless Records, Spain

Savage Behavior - March, 2011 - HR004 - Homeless Records, Spain




Layabouts are a young band formed in Madrid in the fall of 2005. Its members (Javi, Jon, Rober, Marti and Victor) wanted to start an indie rock band after leaving their previous projects. They started rehearsing together when naturally powerful guitar riffs and catching vocal melodies bonded together to create their first songs.

As major influences they normally name Joy Division and the american garage bands of the 70’s, although you can easily recognize classic influences from bands of the 60’s.

This is the reason why in their songs you can see strokes coming from the Beatles, The Kinks, The Who or even The Cure. They also have influences in the actual rock scene and are not afraid to confess their admiration for bands like Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Bloc Party, The Bravery, The Strokes, The Kooks, White Rose Movement or Death From Above.

In April the 5th 2006 they played their debut concert in Madrid’s well known venue Moby Dick, with great success. The place was full and the sound was terrific. This made various record labels start having big interest in the Layabouts. The owners of Moby Dick were really impressed and that’s why they decided to book them for the music sessions of “La Caja de Música” with other artists like The Sunday Drivers, Budapest, The Posies, Nada Surf or Paul Collins.

They continued playing gigs in Madrid and other cities in Spain achieving great reviews and success as well as increasing their audience. The energy and the attitude with which Layabouts step up in live performances is what most people remark as their major quality.

After a few months of continuous rumours, following the recording of their self-titled two song demo, they were signed by the independent label ‘Wild Thing Records’ in December 2006. Straight after came their first major recognition when they were awarded best independent national demo of the year by the Spanish national radio.

The band then went down to Cadiz to record their first studio album produced by the acclaimed producer Paco Loco. The album was launched in April 2007.

After a one year tour in which the band played all over Spain and in many festivals like Paredes de Coura (Portugal), Universimad, Sonorama, Indyspensable, Pulpop, etc, Layabouts went into Garate Studios to record "...And they ran into the woods", produced by Kaki Arkarazo (who has worked with bands like Calexico), a more darker record than their debut and, above all, more rock based. After the recording session where over, Martí leaves the band due to the impossibility of reconciling with his other proyect Underwater Tea Party.

This second album will be released in September but before the album's first single "Corrupted Scene Behind The Stage" will be published. The single will include a new song and a cover of the Animals' original song "Inside Looking Out". The single will only be released on vinyl in a limited print run. These songs were recorded by Raul De Lara at Neo Musicbox studios in Aranda de Duero (Burgos, Spain), the first recording studio built inside a wine cellar and designed by Philip Newell.