ALBUM REVIEW: Fall In Fall Out by The Luka State
The day we've been patiently waiting for has arrived - Coven favourites The Luka State have finally released their debut album, and boy, what a corker it is. Fall In Fall Out is 35 minutes of heavenly rock n roll belters, showcasing their ambitious - yet perfectly executed - musical breadth. From an elbow to the face in the pit with Bury Me to slow-dancing alone in the living room with Fall In Fall Out, let these Winsford lads take you on a musical journey you won't forget in a hurry.
Opener Feel It launches out the starting gate, packing a playful and powerful punch that sets the tone for the rest of the LP. The track caught the eye of bigwigs over at Spotify last year, and helped turbo-boost the band's ongoing ascent to stardom (10 MILLION streams!!!) - so naturally it was always gonna take the number 1 spot. It's an angsty yet groovy thumper of a track with a catchy melodic chorus. Lyrically, it's about learning from your mistakes in a relationship, as Conrad explains: "we can all be an absolute dick at times, and we can all make mistakes - but as long as we learn from those mistakes and adapt and change, then it's alright 'cause you only learn from it at the end of the day."
Bury Me is the rapid-fire follow up that'll get your pulse racing and make you ache to feel the body heat of 100 strangers in a cramped, steamy venue. A fan favourite, it's our personal highlight of the album. Think biting, filthy, indie-punk-rock, or as Conrad described it: "it's like if The Strokes smoked loads of crack," and we think that's beautiful. "I enjoy writing about lust. There's too many love songs knocking about, whereas lust can be anything you want it to be. Lust can be dirty, it can be sleazy, it can be deceitful, it can be heartbreaking, it can be anything really. I always find it's an interesting subject because you can take it wherever you want." And if that wasn't enough to get you hot under the collar, the song challenges gender stereotypes - need we continue try and sell you on this? "It's about the submission of a man - I wanted to do something where it was a different take that, a man can go weak at the knees under the power of a woman." Phwoar.
Bury Me is a hard act to follow, but Kick In The Teeth has no problem keeping up the pace. A hometown anthem inspired by fellow northern band The Music, "it's about Winsford where we're from really. There's loads of references to the people that live in the town - there's thousands of working class towns like ours across the UK that have characters exactly like ours... it's about those kind of places all over the country. It's about going, yeah you know what I am from here and I'm proud, smile like you do, everything's gonna be alright."
If you're looking for a bit of a rest, Fake News certainly isn't gonna help. It smashes you in the face; all guns blazing from the get-go. Delivering more absolute vocal treats from Conrad, it turns the act of shit-talking into an art form. "We live in such a small town that if you fucking fart everyone knows about it... doesn't matter who you are, people are always gonna want to gossip about you."
Real Thing is a song about love, lust, and deceit - a complex relationship, depicted by yet another steamrolling musical arrangement."Lyrically that song is actually really filthy if you listen to it. I wanted to write something that was purposely explicit without being explicit so that it might still get on the radio." Girl follows a similar lyrical theme and intensity - The Luka State have a really amazing ability to communicate the complexities of human relationships, they're never just your standard love songs.
Bold is the calm down you may or may not have been looking for - a beautiful acoustic tune full of honesty and storytelling, it really hits the refresh button at the album's midpoint. The relaxing and romantic vibe of the track is in stark contrast with the lyrics; it's a true story about Conrad (unknowingly) chatting up a married woman in the local pub, and getting punched in the face by the husband. Lovely.
Room's On Fire sends the album soaring back into a frenzy - with an unlikely source of inspiration. "I was watching a DVD on The Jam and Paul Weller was playing really aggressively... I was just messing around with some chords and the capo and that chord progression sounded ace when it was played fast and really hard." Something about the aggressive playing is complemented so sumptuously by the melancholic chords that give the song overall a really romantic, yet urgently longing feel - so the subject matter is no surprise. "I just wanted to write about sex man, I just don't think it's celebrated enough. I think it's a beautiful thing, if two people are in love or whatever, it's not sleazy by any stretch of the imagination. It shouldn't be a taboo subject - if it is spoken about in popular music now it's all about tits and ass - it's degrading to women, and it doesn't celebrate the coming together of two people." Hear fucking hear.
[Insert Girl's Name Here] has a bit more of a groove to it than any of the other tracks. "It's about escapism, about wanting to pack your shit up and start again. It's called [Insert Girl's Name Here] because it's not about anyone in particular, it's about these characters that just wanna escape their current situation." The almost perpetual bass line and beat are both reminiscent of a train barreling down the track, which really reinforces that notion of getting away. You might notice that the vocals sound like they have a distortion on them (they haven't) - Conrad developed a scary nodule on his vocal chords and this is the last track they recorded before he recovered! Rock n roll really is dangerous.
Showcasing their more vulnerable side, Fall In Fall Out is a heartfelt ballad, but still with that signature Luka State rock sensibility. We can definitely picture belting this one out whilst swaying from side to side in the middle of a rammed stadium with a lighter in hand, and tears in our eyes (one day guys, one day). It's an anthemic serenade - reminiscent of classic Oasis (think Don't Look Back In Anger or Stop Crying Your Heart Out).
What's My Problem? smashes the album past the finish line on a fabulously chaotic, gritty, riff-fuelled note. Just over 2 minutes in length, it rapidly summarises the lyrical complexities the boys have nailed throughout the record - with lyrics like "I'm in love 'cause I wanna be lonely" it evokes feelings of unrequited love, toxic relationships, and wanting someone you know is bad for you. And you know what our problem is? We're gonna wear down our vinyl copies of this album quicker than you can say The Luka State.
Due to bloody old 'rona, the four-piece couldn’t celebrate with a traditional album launch - so instead they decided go literal, and, we shit you not, launch a physical copy of the album into space. Yes, you read that right. Let it be known that Fall In Fall Out is truly out of this world. And that's not all, oh no. They also sent up some LEGO minifigure versions of themselves, so if anyone gets hit in the face with a tiny Conrad: you were warned. If you still don't believe it, check out the live-streamed 360 degree video here.
Alongside the release of Fall In Fall Out, The Luka State have pulled out all the stops to spoil us - they also just announced a UK/European tour for September. The northern lads will hit several cities across the UK including Manchester, London, Southampton, before gracing European cities such as Berlin and Paris.
Brought up on bands like The Clash and The Jam, frontman Conrad Ellis and bassist Sam Bell met in their local youth club, and have been playing music together since they were just twelve years old. After seeing drummer Jake Barnabas play at a festival and meeting guitarist Lewis Pusey, everything fell into place. They all grew up in the same small town of Winsford in Cheshire - Conrad has explained there’s not much to do there, so you either make music or play football. Thankfully for us, music prevailed. Maybe there is a god?
Fall In Fall Out tracklist:
1. Feel It
2. Bury Me
3. Kick In The Teeth
4. Fake News
5. Real Thing
8. Rooms On Fire
9. [Insert Girls Name Here]
10. Fall In, Fall Out
11. What’s My Problem?
Review by Courtney Myers