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Lakota
Hope For The Haunted
Pop Up Records
www.lakotarock.com


Lakota, a New York City punk-rock outfit, makes their first full-length album with Hope For The Haunted. The band's profile on their label's web site claims that Lakota takes a "classic melodic punk" sound and injects it with their own style, but this is only partially true. More than anything, Lakota sounds like their influences (Jimmy Eat World, Alkaline Trio, Green Day) and provides pretty standard power-punk fare with a touch of the melodic. It may be good listening for cruising down the highway, but overall it's difficult to distinguish Lakota from rest of the pack.

To their credit, however, Lakota does have a good pop sensibility that gives way to accessibility for listeners not crazy about punk or emo. With the driving title track that opens the album, Hope... comes flying fast out of the gates and never lets up until the penultimate number, "Wait And See" (the album's only acoustic track). And as with most punk bands, the bass chugs along prominently from the fingers of Carlos Ramirez.

Guitarist Kayne Konecny sings with all the emotive, aggressive insistency that's expected from this genre, but without the snot and snark. His lyrics, while not always intelligible, are usually confrontational and focused outwardly. They're also more negative than positive; on "Ember", Konecny promises that "There will be no happy ending".

Lakota has gradually gained a following through extensive touring in the Northeast U.S. With Hope For The Haunted, there may also be no rest for the weary in the coming months. But for Lakota, it should be a good kind of tired.

-Ken Devine

Standout Tracks: "Perfect Faith"

Track Listing:
1. Hope For The Haunted
2. She Has It
3. Quiet Like Graves
4. Slow Fade
5. Jolene The Calamity Queen
6. Video You
7. Ember
8. Make / Break
9. Perfect Faith
10. Ornaments
11. Wait And See
12. Holiday Heart


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