Review Summary: Strong, beautiful and inspiring...
Strong, beautiful and inspiring are words I usually only use to describe myself but, being in a generous mood, I’m willing to share the status with Lo-Pro and their second LP release The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge. Almost seven years ago, before even daring making fun of myself on the internet as I just did, I came across Lo-Pro, a relatively unknown hard rock band with a brand new self-titled debut and a terrible picture for album cover. Suffice to say, they had me at “Sunday” and despite the long hiatus since then, we have managed to remain close and on good terms. Meanwhile, their popularity went relatively nowhere and besides a couple of live gigs with Aaron Lewis from the generic snooze fest that is Staind, Lo-Pro remained underground.
Today the talented crew finally makes a return and, to my biggest surprise, a solid one (even the album cover is nicer). Comprised of Pete Murray (Vocals), Neil Godfrey (Guitar), Pete Ricci (Guitar), Jerry Oliviera (Bass) and Tommy Stewart (Drums), Lo-Pro manages to improve on their debut and remain consistent throughout. Vocals always seemed like their strong point to me and that hasn’t changed, with the powerhouse Pete Murray from Ultraspank taking the helm once again. This time however, he is backed by much more impressive instrumental work, really giving their sound an edge.
The songs themselves also didn’t disappoint for the most part. Whereas the debut only had a few standout tracks, this new album oozes effort, giving each song legs to stand on their own. The album begins strong with “Blame Me”, a short and sweet piece of music, but in my opinion stumbles a bit with the following “Texas” and “Pushed Aside” tracks. Many will probably disagree, “Texas” being one of their more recognized songs of late, but I find its chorus to be lackluster and it just never really takes off for me. We then get “A Life That's Just Begun”, standing only a notch above the previous two thanks to its inspirational chorus and grand build up near the end.
“Wasting Away”, much like “Texas”, disappoints a tad in the chorus department. Yelling “I’m wasting away” at the top of your lungs (what lungs however!) felt repetitive and slightly annoying. Also it’s important to note that until now, all of these have been pretty straight forward rock songs with a heavy side. Make no mistake; there is nothing progressive about these guys. With “Ingenious” however we get a much welcomed change of pace. The song begins sounding like something straight from the new Dead Letter Circus LP while Pete Murray just talks in the background. Slowly but surely his singing makes a comeback and the song builds up to an incredibly powerful chorus. This is definitely one of my favorites off this album! “Alive” returns to their regular rock routine but does it so well it can’t help but stand out either. Another favorite is found!
“Hang On” is probably my least favourite track here. It’s not bad, at all; it just doesn’t appeal to me and falls in the same pile as that couple of early tracks I wasn’t crazy about. Next up we have “All I Have” and “Say” which are technically one song as the latter flows directly into the first if merged. Why they were cut like this is beyond me but in any case, this is one beautiful song. This time around we get a ballad with an almost dreamlike feel to it, kind lyrics and, like most of their songs, a positive message. The rest of the CD remains strong with superb tunes like “Clean the Slate” and especially “Breath” but ends on a soft note with “Letting Go”, another ballad that Pete has performed live with Lewis in the past. I found this one a little too slow and boring however, reminiscent of many Staind tracks, but that’s just me.
In the end, I was very pleased to see this band record something new as it was truly a pleasure to listen to. The lyrics may seem simple on some songs but their overall message and performance are so uplifting that you can’t help but feel great as you go through this CD. They won’t change the music industry since creatively they don’t really introduce anything new, but what they do perform, they do so extremely well! A treat for any rock/hard rock fan!
(Oh and I’m not sure why they are listed as Nu-Metal but don’t let that scare you off as they are far, far from it!)