Since up-and-coming punk band LAO’s current lineup took shape nine months ago, founding members Lerner and bassist Adam Paul, along with singer Blake Kasemeier and drummer Philip Lee, have dedicated
themselves to a vision of musical _expression that promises to leave even the most stoic listener’s mind unfettered and body thrashing.
“But really, we’re not in a band to please people,” asserted Lerner. “This is our art. We write what we love.” The product: aggressive rock that bridges genres from the soul-baring musings of Kurt Cobain to the relentless rock sound of Thrice. And while finding a following isn’t the band’s sole purpose, others visibly enjoy their music as well. “I have a hard time believing it when kids at our shows are singing along…or someone walks up and tells [us] they love our music,” Lerner continued. “But they know what we’re saying. It means a lot to us.”
And why shouldn’t listeners love it? LAO’s constantly evolving sound sets heart-wrenching vocals on a backdrop of abrasive instrumentals, showcasing unabated passion, and belief in their sound as well as their message. Unmistakable in every action, from persistence in production of their upcoming EP, Lacerate these Hearts, to unique onstage chemistry, a common fervor, above all else, sets LAO apart from the masses. On this chemistry, Kasemeier added, “We’re all on that same page, aesthetically…emotionally… in our lyrics [and] in our attitude.”
The haunting song, “My Sisyphus,” off of Lacerate these Hearts, is a perfect illustration, as unity and passion come full circle. “It’s about Blake’s grandfather [a victim of dementia resulting from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome],” Lerner explained. “Before he died, he thought he was a teenager. But he was happy…isn’t that what it’s all about?” And only a delivery like LAO’s could power their forceful message. Building on the solid foundations of Paul’s bass, the vigor of Lee’s drumming and Lerner’s growling guitar, Kasemeier’s gasping staccato lifts the lyrics, and the song takes flight. “Dad, when I die,” wails Kasemeier, “I want to be seventeen.”
LAO is currently looking forward to touring and the release of Lacerate these Hearts. “We see the heart as a symbol of self…a symbol of life,” said Lerner. While their work is open to interpretation, Lacerate these Hearts represents, to its creators,
continued hope and belief in the innate beauty of life.
“It’s our true hope that we can work together to achieve our dreams,” concluded Lerner. “Otherwise, what the hell are we doing?”
-From the official band website, www.laowillrise.com
Friday October 17th @ Cobalt Cafe
w/ Winterdale Calls, Tiptoe Charlies, Pale New, Dawn, Diary, Spark of Life
Show starts at 6:00 - L.A.O. @ 9:45