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Music bums from all over the world shed acrid tears when Late of the Pier disintegrated half a decade ago. Most expected that the members will rise to the occasion and develop successful solo careers while others were praying that they would come to their senses and reunite.
Majority of those who had gracefully accepted the breakup were banking their hopes on on Sam Dust. His intention to venture into solo artistry as LA priest was the worst kept secret – even when he was in Late of the Pier – and it was anticipated that his would be the first breakthrough. Five years later the world was almost giving up on him when (LA priest) dropped his debut album “Inji” LP on 29th June 2015.
Integrating a mixture of funk, disco, and searing guitar tunes LA priest puts together an impressive album of ten fluid tracks. Although many say that most of the tracks seem like an extension of Late of the Pier’s music, some of the keener music aficionados differ. They maintain that unlike the quartet’s songs which were closely correlated, LA priest’s lack harmony: “Like tracks from different musicians compiled into a single album.”
‘Occasion’ opens the album at a rather lazy and crawly pace with draggy drums coupled by shaky synths and contorted guitar. Although it is a timid and rather anti-climatic way to start an album, it builds the listener’s anticipation and one cannot help feeling that there is something better on the way.
Things start picking up as the album advances especially as it nears the midpoint. ‘Oino’, the album’s centrepiece, is by far its most overbearing. It is pacy and springy and perfect for the summer playlist.
Next to it is ‘Party Zute/Learning To Love’ a brilliantly indulging and gratefully playful track that eliminates the seriousness and somberness of the album. Party Zute is throbbing and filled with bold drums and backward synths while the latter is more of a move-your-feet dance floor rhythm.
There is an interesting unevenness in the album and ‘Night Train’ serves as the intermediary between the two factions. It is sane enough to allow for the appreciation of the vocals and artistry but still wild enough to incite movement and emotion. Some of the tracks are weak but none is boring.Each possesses a unique quality that sets it apart from the rest.
LA priest seems to wobble around missing his footing a couple of times but still manages to bring himself up. The album seems to be more of an experiment and a gauge of the public’s reaction. It is like he wants to find out what kind of music best suits his fans before limiting himself to a particular genre.