Review Summary: This is what U2 wishes they could do today.
I can understand if La Rocca is not quite your sound, but there is one thing you cannot deny: they are going to be stars. With their debut album, The Truth, they have carved out a sound they may be a bit redundant, but is no doubt infectious and to say the least, ambitious. Every track on the album just reeks of a stadium anthem. Perhaps these young lads from Ireland may seem a bit in over their heads for a first record, but as you will soon find out, La Rocca doesn't have to fake anything. They are rock stars through and through. It is only a matter of time until everybody else figures it out.
For many bands in the alt rock community, the all to common mantra seems to be one of non nonchalance, but La Rocca immediately tells you that they will not succumb to that, as the first track “Sketches (Twenty Something Life)” hits you in the face with a fast paced keyboard line on top of pounding and overpowering, but not quite intimidating power chords. That is a recurring theme throughout the album. While they switch flawlessly from these face paced anthems to borderline ballads, there is also something accessible that makes you want to keep listening. As soon as vocalist Bjorn Baillie chimes in about 45 seconds, you know this is something special.
The album is littered with distinct shout outs to rock and roll heroes of the eighties, as well as their peers. The comparisons to fellow countrymen U2 and The Thrills are inevitable, but there are also undeniable hints to everything from Bruce Springsteen to Keane. Does this help narrow down their sound? Didn't think so. While every track offers something a bit different, these 11 tracks manage to remain a coherent, cohesive, hard rocking unit. Every song is perfectly placed, so that things never become stale or boring, which is a disease that seams to be caught by a vast majority of the current alt rock scene, often as early as the fifth or sixth track. La Rocca seems to have found the cure however.
This album screams youth and energy, lending to the soundtracks of shows like One Tree Hill and The OC. While I will not comment on the quality of these teen dramas, La Rocca defines the dramatic, over the top vibes they depict. Despite catching the ears of a handful of television producers, La Rocca seems to have fallen through the cracks of the over saturated alt rock scene, which is a travesty that will soon be rectified. While certain tracks scream single, you will be hard pressed to find a weak track on the album. I see nothing but bright things ahead for these Dublin imports, and I urge you to not only pick of this album, but keep an eye out for their next album, titled Ok,Okay, due out in the fall of 2008.