Lái-Pontianak album review.

 

Lái-Pontianak album review.

FFO: Raging, raw crushing D-Beat of the highest order.
Australia has a fantastic history of anarchist and D-Beat punk/hardcore. Lái represents the new breed that deeply reps the old school, with modern production, but most importantly a firm foundation in addressing and/or confronting relevant sociopolitical issues; be it feminism, religion, questioning the govt, sexual rights and racism. This striking album is refreshing because it harnesses the aggro of classic Swedish style D-Beat and instead of endless cookie-cutter songs that often plagues this genre it's punching above its weight by adding diversity to each track. Some tracks like Telak Tiga recall the punk magic of bands like Tutti Parze, whilst others like Red Umbrella are an utter rollercoaster of crazed greatness reminiscent of Rudimentary Peni. Other killer tunes like The Tower tilt their hat towards my favourite tunes by crust hardcore legends Nausea or Antischism.

There is simply no boredom to be had here (live this band is even more dynamic than this album (which is hard to imagine!!)), all 9 tracks are energetic, exceptionally well written and recorded/mixed by Jason Fuller to give that extra kick. 

The packaging is sublime with brilliant artwork on the cover as well as a fantastic booklet with lyrics, song explanations and killer art. 

The band sounds like they have played many shows as the playing is both skilled and magnificently cohesive. Lyrics are song in Bahasa Indonesian as well as English. This seems to add even more barbed intent to each track and as mentioned the personal or topical issues are a strong focus of this band; as they should be. The topics raised are not on-trend or to be part of the in-crowd; these are things that are essential discussions and the rage across this whole album is justified. Pontianak is the whole package-angry, catchy, raging and political as fuck!. You will bang your head to absolutely every track and at the same time go deep on issues that matter. To me, this represents punk perfection and slots in easily to the classics. Easily in my top five releases of 2020!!.

(Photo credit Lee Stefen)
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