A fun and joyous listen
Kieran Macadie
08:00 9th September 2021

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From the thriving Bristol music scene dominated by the likes of local legends such as Squid, Willie J Healey and Katy J Pearson comes the alt-country genre-bending four-piece Langkamer. Behind the country-looking album cover of their new debut West Country is twelve tracks of bliss, all influenced by various genres.

At the start of the record, one could mistake Langkamer for hip-indie rockers with sounds comparable to Pavement and The Breeders with an added bright and folky influence. But as the album unfolds, the band’s clever genre-bending and fusion becomes apparent.

Opening tracks ‘The Return of Little Big Man’ and ‘Humdinger’ are brilliantly catchy rockers that kick of the record with anticipation and excitement for it to continue. As the listener is introduced to tracks such as the album’s strongest ‘Polly You Should See Me Now’ and ‘The Ugliest Man in Bristol’, an entirely new gift of ethereal sounds is given that demonstrate Langkamer's uniqueness. These sounds slip from genres such as Americana, punk, rock, folk and even blues.

This wonderful sonic mash-up is all thanks to the quartet working perfectly in balance. Although driven by the lead vocal melodies of Joshua Jarman (drums, vocals), Langkamer’s songwriting is a deeply collaborative process, with each member of the band playing a key role in developing each track. This collaborative process can be seen clearly within the inner workings of the record as each widely different influence works together in perfect harmony. 

Jarman’s lyrics apply an agile and playful poetry to heavy themes, without ever feeling overly serious or self-indulgent. The captivating lyrics are perfectly complemented by guitarists Dan Anthony and Ed Soles each trading lead riffs, solos and rhythm parts throughout the album with bassist Tom Kelly gluing these elements together beautifully with his pounding basslines. 

Langkamer also wear their hometown of Bristol proudly on their sleeves: the city is a clear thematic backdrop to the album. Not only are the band friendly with the aforementioned artists of the thriving Bristol scene, but the record was crafted in the cool confines of Bristol’s iconic music venue, The Louisiana.

Proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with, Langkamer are a band that have everything to offer. Not only do multiple genres effectively bleed through the album’s sound, but the listener is taken on a ride of thematic variation lyrically. West Country is a playful experiment that works perfectly; a fun and joyous listen from start to finish. 

West Country arrives 10 September.

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Photo: Press