Seven-piece alternative rock band Red Lama was formed in 2011 by a group of friends in Copenhagen, Denmark. Between now and then the psychedelic rockers have had a few releases but in 2018 they’ve just released their new album titled ‘Motions’, so let’s have a look at it shall we?
The album begins with the song Perfect Strangers with funky bass, slapping tambourines and a jazzy drum beat. All of this combined with the breathy, subdued vocals gives off a real indie rock sense with a soft focus on ambient elements. Next up is Awakening and it opens with a horn and a bass riff, which very very slowly rings out with sounds of reverberated notes, a psychedelic guitar riff and some soft vocals. I honestly feel like this song is a bit longer than it needs to be, especially given how they’re not only slow the tempo is but how it has that subtle complexity where there’s a lot of sounds going on to create an atmosphere but it sounds minimalistic and I think it drags being 7 minutes long, unfortunately I fear that this will continue through the rest of the album.
Post-Optimism, Have A Great Today and Come What May come next in the tracklist and to be honest both of them suffer from the exact same pitfalls, they’re slow and indistinguishable from the next. While they feature some admittedly interestingly played instruments and riffs, I feel like it all just blends together and drags which doesn’t create the best listening experience unless that’s explicitly what you’re looking for.
At this point in the album I’ve found myself honestly struggling to finish it with how repetitive it is and while granted I find myself enjoying an individual sound or riff played in a song, I find myself enjoying it because I’m not really enjoying the music as a whole. Nevertheless, the album goes on and thankfully from here on out there’s nothing over 5 minutes long.
Fular is the sixth song on the album and it features some of the most intensity we’ve seen so far, it’s probably the best I’d say. It’s got a strong and consistent drum beat and bass line as well as an actual sense of structure, you can feel when it kicks in and feel it’s highs and lows. Wave is next and like Fular it has kind of shown something different with a much lower, deeper tone accompanied by an array of high notes played over the top.
With these last two songs the album has actually taken a step up and has been much more enjoyable, which leads me to believe that what this album could really use is some editing in the overall tracklist, it’d really help with dividing up the songs and making the overall experience of the album feel less clogged and monotonous. Albeit, most people don’t listen to entire albums in one sitting, so while listening to individual songs may make for a better listening experience this album is constructed to be an ambient, drawn out experience rather than focusing on songs being individually significant, so I’m judging it as a whole.
The final two songs Elements & Elements II, are songs that actually really feel like alternative rock and together act as a nice ending to an album that’s had me back and forth. The songs have a strong sense of growth, they build and swell in intensity and overall have a very strong presence of guitar, bass and various percussion instruments that make it really makes you feel like you’re listening to music with a prominent melody and rhythm rather than assorted instruments and sounds thrown together.
Overall the album definitely has creative ideas and interesting takes on things, but for being such a “full album experience” is in definite need of editing, as the first half of it feels like a long drawn out experience that drags where it should be shining.
You can purchase the new album here!