Review Summary: I would like to be loved and I am trying my best, But the devil is inside me and he is coming out through my chest
Introspection. A quality every artist who yearns to write personal and emotional music must possess. Think back to every lyrics based album you ever fell in love with. Now imagine that the lyricist didn’t ask any questions or that he/she failed to dig deep into his/her soul and merely pandered to a generation grasping for nothing short of the musical equivalency of garbage. That album doesn’t seem so great now does it? But is it possible to ever have ‘too much of a good thing’?
Brothers and sisters I have no answers! I have no Brothers. No Sisters. -I Have No Answers
From the opening frantic shouts of the record we see that front man Joey Vannucchi does not claim to have the answers, but he does have questions.. many, many questions. The issues that Vannucchi delves into with great passion are not ground breaking; touching on topics such as doubt, faith, or love is commonplace in nearly every indie release. But the most common clichéd pitfalls of dabbling in said topics are avoided throughout the entirety of The Man With Wooden Legs
The most predominant theme to found on this 2009 release would be of faith. As broad a subject as it may be, the members of From Indian Lakes manage to personalize it on a level not unlike As Cities Burn’s magnum opus Come Now Sleep. With self-deprecating lyrics and humility in realizing that mistakes have been made and will continue to be made, From Indian Lakes portray a sense of maturity past their years.
If I was ever an imperfect son or a foolish boy, or a wretched child, I was only out looking for Jesus. I was only becoming a Godly man!" -The Man With Wooden Legs
As with most indie bands, the lynchpin for From Indian Lakes is the based upon the vocal capabilities of the lead singer. Vannucchi’s falsetto driven croons can turn into a harsh yell on a dime all the while creating a unique and exciting ride for listeners. Time and time again listeners hear a vast array of different vocal influences shining through these 11 tracks. Whether it be the earlier referenced Cody Bonnette of As Cities Burn fame or Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute, Vannucchi manages to encompass different styles while still maintaining his own personal sound, a personal sound that manages to blend perfectly with the soundscape behind him. Songs such as We Thought Your Heart Was Beating
and We Are Invincible
portray the young bands knack for the loud/soft dynamic while acoustic based songs such as I Am Aware
display a stripped down version of the band. The most prolific and memorable song on the entire album is without a doubt Our Father Is Missing
. This song exemplifies every single positive aspect that From Indian Lakes has to offer; Dynamic songwriting, thought provoking lyrics and soaring vocal melodies. With snaking guitar riffs and massive walls of sound behind a tight rhythm section, From Indian Lakes succeeds on nearly every single front a band could possible succeed. Save for one.
As alluded to before, From Indian Lakes may have strayed across the undefinable line into the unforgiving trap of ‘too much of a good thing’. I am all for a man attempting to exercise his demons through mean of questions and inner searching, yet there has to be a point in which asking 4 or 5 questions in a row becomes almost… gimmicky. Now I am by no stretch of the imagination trying to belittle the process of questioning nor am I trying to besmear the writing process of Vannucchi, for it has churned out many memorable lines and songs, I am merely trying to state the one minor flaw to be found amongst an ocean of imperfections. Take for example this stream of lyrics: When we look in the mirror do we see anything at all? Have we become nothing but the cracks in the walls? When we look outside, do we see anything at all? Was there ever really anything there? -We Thought Your Hearts Were Beating
And that is not the only song with a steady stream of questions without any sort of answers.
From Indian Lakes is a band that managed to create something special on their first attempt. Taking influence from different places and combining them with their own unique twist to create one of the most enjoyable releases of 2009
I have been living this way since the day that I was born. I have been trying to change but I am so easily bored-Our Father Is Missing