After just a chorus and a bridge, clicking into the skip-along bounces of “Officer & A Gentlemen,” it was not a surprise to see that the Cali-to-Brooklyn band Lola Ray had fans across the pond at BBC. Had it not been for the press release stating their country of origin, it would be easy to mistake their poppin’ fresh sound concoctions as being born from a U.K. kitchen.
Lead singer John Balicanta’s urgency comes full circle from the days of Real Life, Icicle Works and Talk Talk. And while their more dancey tunes are most likely the favorites of their newly made fans, the slower contemplation and somewhat dreary essence of “We’re Not Having Any Fun,” shows a deeper side to Lola Ray’s musical orchestrations.
Oddly enough, “Great Divide” sounds remarkably like the guitar hooks found from our own Photo Atlas, complete with the quirky punk hook.
At first it seemed strange that although Balincanta had interned at Dumbo Studios, which is owned by Peter Robinson who was the V.P. of A&R at RCA, Lola Ray was still on an indie label. Upon reading a little further, the onion peel revealed that DC Flag, which released I Don’t Know You, is an imprint of Epic Records. This time around the band is on Benevolent Records/226 Records. All that really doesn’t matter, just getting the music out there is the ultimate goal, right?
Lola Ray comes to Denver this Thursday, August 3, to play the Marquis.