LYDIA LASKA hail from Stavanger and Oslo, Norway. Forming in 2002, its members come from a diverse musical background, including (but certainly not limited to) the early black metal scene as well as prog/krautrock, punk, and good ol' rock 'n' roll. The band's recorded debut came in 2006 with the White Trash Attack EP, and was followed by two more EPs - We're Nothing Compared to Ourselves (2007) and Could I Have a Go On Your Girl, Please? (2009) - but it wasn't until their debut album in 2010, Krankenhaus, where the LYDIA LASKA aesthetic truly took flight. A devilishly dark, boldly bewildering, but above all perversely catchy sound emerged, drawing in such disparate influences as the Velvet Underground, Faust, David Bowie, Royal Trux, The Stooges, and old-school black metal. Not long after its release, Krankenhaus went on to be critically acclaimed and served as an admitted prime influence for fellow hybrid-benders Kvelertak. Continuing that momentum, LYDIA LASKA soon became notorious for their chaotic live shows - to the point where they actually had to stop playing gigs since they were generally banned from most venues.
With the stage thus set, anticipation is high for LYDIA LASKA's long-awaited second album. Fittingly titled Ego Death, this is the sound of LYDIA LASKA becoming both brasher and smoother, rougher and more come-hither,
swaggering and silky: a truly unique sound that can take over both radio and squats alike. Indeed, life has been that much rougher since the release of Krankenhaus, and the band's sonic influences are even more varied and violent this time. Knowing beforehand that the stakes were high, LYDIA LASKA chose to record Ego Death with esteemed producer Emil Nikolaisen (Årabrot, Todd Rundgren, Serena-Maneesh).
What results is an even-more-kaleidoscopic stroll through the gutter, even for those already well versed in LYDIA LASKA's mischievous ways. Each of the ten tracks across Ego Death could be a radio hit in the own right...if the radio station was entrenched in the darkest, dingiest sewer and was playing warring factions simultaneously. And yet, for however schizophrenic Ego Death might sound on the surface, beneath that surface is an entirely earnest and completely composed method to the mayhem. Each hook shimmers and stabs, but always with the target being both one's ears and heart; it's ridiculously difficult to get these songs outta your head. Nikolaisen's production no doubt aids in LYDIA LASKA's earworming nature here, with the soundfield finding a strange - and strangely alluring - balance between shambling and stately, regal and righteously ripped. It is, ultimately, the epitome of an Ego Death.
So, are you prepared for LYDIA LASKA and that very Ego Death? Will you step forward into the gutter, only to be splashed with sonic slime that will never wash off? Questions, questions...