Labasheeda - A Few of the Population

Owain Paciuszko 06/06/2009

Rating: 4/5

Sleazy rock riff and snarled female vocals welcome us into Two Too Late (Three in the Whole), before surging into the string-tinged chorus; it's a glorious pic-n-mix of indie-rock influences, you can hear The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Veruca Salt, The Pixies all jostling in the primordial ooze that has evolved into Labasheeda. The juxtaposition between the guitar and the strings all melded together by lead-singer Saskia van der Giessen's vocal makes for perfect filthy-rock.

Saskia on violin leads into the Queens of the Stone Age-like swagger of Free Lunch, a cacophonous instrumental number that perfectly encapsulates the unique sound of Labasheeda. Guardian Angels with Familiar Faces is a more straight-forward number, moving from riff to riff with menace and verve.

There's more instrumentalness on The Broken Windows of New York City, a sprawling number that struggles to hold interest, but throws in a rather nice finale where the violin swoons in the background of erratic guitar playing. The EP closes on Free to Destroy which sashays between moody-rock and scrappier Pavement-like fuzzouts.

A huge bucket of influences seem to jostle for prominence on this EP, yet Labasheeda manage to wrangle their collective unconcious inspiration into something that sounds individual. Occasionally their sound is marred by directionless tunes or an idea unformed, but overall this is a solid EP with some great tracks.