Russia’s LOUNA were winners of the 2009 “Best New Artist of the Year” Russian Alternative Music Prize (RAMP) and the 2012 “Female Vocalist of the Year” Nashe Award, and are setting their sights on the American hard-rock scene with their new album, Behind A Mask, in-stores and available online April 30, 2013 via Red Decade Records and MEG/RED.
Lead singer Lousine “Lou” Gevorkian is the immediate standout here, not just because she is attractive in that masculine dandy tough girl sense, but because she is the most talented at the use of her instrument; her voice. In a world that has become immersed in autotune and over-production, Behind A Mask boasts true musical talent with only 10-15 seconds of vocal correction on the entire 45-minute record. Behind A Mask features 10 of the band’s best songs from their first two albums and have been painstakingly adapted into English by American producer and lyricist Travis Leake (the SLoT). The album was mixed by renowned producer/engineer Dan Korneff (Breaking Benjamin, The Pretty Reckless, Papa Roach, My Chemical Romance, Paramore) and mastering duties were handled by the legendary Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound, New York.
‘System Destroys’ sets the tone for the LP and introduces the listener to “Lou” who could possibly be described as the love child of Joan Jett and Pat Benatar. She compliments the chugging riffs of pop metal that back the lyrics quite well. And so it continues for the rest of the LP with very little break in the formula. There is a very purposeful drive to commit to a particular radio friendly hard rock sound here that should serve LOUNA quite well.
‘Fight Club’ also has the melodic high end vocal range that highlights Gevorkian talent and also shows the brilliance of the arrangement and production that puts such a polished sound and branding on LOUNA‘s tone. Like the majority of the songs, the vocals are the standout “instrument” here. This is not to say that the musicians are bad by any means, it’s just to describe that there is not much complexity and that the guitars take a back seat here.
“My Rock N Roll” may be a favorite of what is a fairly tame tune with some glimpses of potential ferocity. Lousine has great range if she would let her voice take over as boldly as she does when she screams it would be interesting to see where that would take her.
Other standouts such as ‘Storming Heaven’ and ‘Inside’ show that LOUNA have great potential. ‘Inside’ in-particular begs for an unplugged performance. Some road experience in The States, mixing with other bands and cultures, and growing as a band will possibly take this band to great places. LOUNA is reminiscent of a nubile; ready for action but in need of a bit of experience in order to gain greatness.
3 of 5 stars
Categories: Music review