By Robbie Nevel
Miami quartet Lavola is kind of like progressive rock and sounds like anything but progressive rock. It has echoes of Pablo, Honey – era Radiohead, Oasis, the Verve, and a whole barrage of other UK born pop rockers. They do not, however, share their predictability. Lavola’s progressive nature comes from their willingness to bring lush pop soundscapes to new territories far away from Great Britain.
The band consists of founder, guitarist, lyricist, and singer Julian Cires, bassist Paul DeFilippis, drummer Matt Cabrera, and violinist/backup singer Emily Dwyer. They have been around for a hot minute, having released their first EP, Leaving Paris, in 2011 and opening for famous acts such as Tim Reynolds and Against Me!. The following year they released a much celebrated single, and as of March in 2014 they have unleashed their debut full length: This Book is My Cowardice.
The album is full of a dark atmosphere. The expansive arrangements take beautifully written melodies and put them against a lofty background. Each song, while generally melancholic, soars through clear skies and storm clouds alike.
Drums and bass provide a sturdy grounding while overdriven guitars ring out, mingling with phrases and drones from the violin. This alchemy makes Lavola what they are while Cires’ voice dances across the top of it all in a fashion equally reminiscent of Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez and The Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Sometimes, on standout tracks like “Watch Your Step,” a passage will appear where Cires and Dwyer’s voices come together in chilling harmonies that take the music to an even deeper place.
To put on your earphones and take flight with Lavola one can find their new material available from iTunes, and streamed or bought through their Bandcamp account. They can be followed on their Facebook page. Their website is at www.iamlavola.com and they are tweetable at: @iamlavola.