Lasso Spells – Be What You Want
First formed in 2015 by Brett Dudash, Lasso Spells has steadily worked towards mixing a variety of influences into a signature musical vision possessing transformative powers. Dudash culls the band’s sound from a potpourri of improbable flavors – loose-limbed garage rock, retro psychedelia, and idiosyncratic country tinged flourishes fill Lasso Spells’ music with distinctive flair. There’s no hint of self indulgence or over wrought exaggeration, however – the lack of affectation in the band’s sound and writing is a refreshing antidote to lesser acts merely looking to ape past sounds without ever transmuting them through personal talent and experience. Lasso Spells has its own voice and the irrepressible sound of “Be What You Want” makes that fact clear for anyone to hear.
The single from the band’s pending second album Bohemian Mechanics kicks off with a smattering of atmospheric post-production effects and a sustained blast of fuzz guitar. It soon launches into a tightly wound stomp brimming over with swagger and oomph thanks to the terse guitar figure and deep groove achieved by the drumming. There are a number of memorable turns built into the tune, but rave up a quarter of the way in and the pre-chorus are both high points of the recording. The song’s second half has an evocative touch that’s ideal for concluding the track and never risks taking the cut off course. The focus Lasso Spells brings to this performance is impressive.
Dudash nails the lyric with a mix of dismissive contempt, accusation, and hard-edged rock strut. He may not have the most conventional voice, but it’s an instrument he uses far more convincingly than many of his peers and the vocal melody gives the song an irresistible hook for listeners. The lyrics are far from perfunctory; this is a relationship song, in a sense, but the nature of the relationship isn’t made clear for listeners. It’s a wise choice. Taking the lyrics in such a direction leaves the song wide open for listeners to make of it what they will, but there’s little question hearing the song that Dudash is singing about something ripped from the pages of his own autobiography. If he isn’t, the performance is all the more gripping.
It isn’t often that you encounter a band or project boasting such an eclectic array of influences that pull off their material with this kind of coherence and unity. There’s nothing jarring or discordant about Lasso Spells’ “Be What You Want” – despite the occasional brief detours successfully mixing things up for listeners, this song has irresistible forward motion and the sort of sure-handed confidence long substantive careers are made of. Based on the quality of this single, Bohemian Mechanics promises to be a collection that positions Lasso Spells as one of the best acts working on the indie scene and bursting with boundless potential for the future. “Be What You Want” is everything you want from intelligent, first rate songwriting with a physical rock sound and imitates no one. This is music that makes its own mark and invites you along for the ride.