With influences writ large, when LTNT ask; “did you miss me?” on ‘Asbo Regular’, the opening track on ‘Rank’, it’s almost possible to reply; “well, yes, actually”. Already described as the ‘wayward music path between grunge, alt. rock and blues’, the London trio revel in a mix both classic and contemporary references, and although some of these are more overtly obvious than others, ‘Rank’ is pleasingly, far from a one-trick pony.
Wearing their musical aspirations on their, presumably ragged denim sleeves, the three-piece have littered the album with nods to the likes of Clutch, Black Sabbath, Queens of The Stone Age, and Royal Blood. Pleasingly however, they do so with gusto, and from the off with the aforementioned thundering energy of ‘Asbo Regular’, their musical agenda is set out appropriately. A modern day sludgy dirge, with distorted bass lines and pummelling riffage, it amply sets the scene for what’s to follow.
First single ‘Boss Lady’ is up next, and though surprisingly upbeat and with a curiously singable vocal, its low-down stomp further reveals the blueprint that the band revel in. Continuing in a similar mode, ‘No Home’ brings home their sheer no nonsense approach, sneakily employing the use of an electric hand drill to great effect, for the first time since the ‘instrument’s Van Halen / Mr. Big heyday.
Vocally, singer / guitarist Liam Lever’s throaty drawl is dripping with attitude. At times recalling Dave Grohl, such as on the more moderately paced ‘No Aquarius By Will’, his keen sense of melody adds an extra dimension to LTNT’s sound. Lyically though, it is difficult to imagine the Foo Fighters’ front man singling the rhyming couplet of; “let’s be reckless / be Ant and Deckles”, as Lever does here.
Showing a modern punky edge, and a further Foos’ influence – one which dominates much of the album - meanwhile, the fast paced ‘The Sleeper Wakes’ harks back to Grohl’s mob’s debut, with its shouty vocal and urgent pacing.
It’s not all pummelling riffing however, and revealing a more introspective side, ‘In The Back Of Your Mind’ eases off the pace considerably. ‘Hole In My Heart’ is more reflective still, and with Its “look at me now” refrain, is a morose and painful, bringing to mind long forgotten Essex post-grunge outfit Headswim. With a beautiful harmonised chorus, it’s ‘Rank’s stand out track.
It’s a welcome respite, and although normal service is soon resumed, the epic closer ‘(Everything Was Beautiful And) Nothing Hurt) marries the disparate styles, with acoustic guitars and ‘Planet Caravan’-esque vocal effects adding to the sonic palate.
All of which means that although short on originality, LTNT more than make up for it in sheer passion; you can practically feel the sweat dripping from the speakers. Rip roaring from start to finish, only the more patient may find themselves wondering; “why did you put the shrimp away?”
by Eamon O'Neill, 24th March 2016.