And the winner of The Most Underrated But Still Totally Awesome Band of the Mid 80’s to Early 90‘s Award goes to… The La’s!
While music nerding with Chris Hardwick a few weeks ago after the taping of The Doug Benson Interruption – which, might I add, was hilarious – he brought up the tragically forgotten group. I must admit, I knew of The La’s musical career only about a notch past their hit song, “There She Goes” which I was familiar with due to its appearance in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap (more frequently known as, “That one Lindsay Lohan movie before she started doing coke”). But it had been so long since I listened to their self-titled album that I forgot how damn good they were.
If The Smiths, Cream and The New Pornographers got together and had some sort of weird time-traveling threesome, the offspring would probably look and sound something like The La’s. Mike Badger, Lee Maves and John Power combined their talents to birth a rock-pop group with rhythm flowing in their veins, not to mention the only band with a noticeably impressive woodblock player – after you listen to “Son of a Gun” you will know I’m not kidding.
Perceptibly influenced by Morrissey, particularly Meat is Murder, The La’s bring forth the best parts of his musical genius and blend in their own era-appropriate mixtures of instrumentation. Moving through the album is sort of like moving through time. In Timeless Melody, the face melting electric guitar solo blends with the foot tapping bridge to create, literally, a timeless melody. Then on Liberty Ship, you’ve hopped into your DeLorean towards Friday On My Mind with the Easybeats in 1966. No matter what rock vibe The La’s are emitting at any point of the album, try not bobbing your head or tapping a foot. I’m actually challenging you – right now.