I usually prefer to follow my instinct, and rarely pay immediate attention to submissions due to lack of time to fulfil all of them. But rules in life, as should be also in music, are blurry, and a talented band, in full DIY spirit, from a far continent without a proper r’n’r tradition, with an incredibly fresh and mature sound, doesn’t deserve to go unnoticed.
The curiously named Lo! Peninsula is a 3-piece based out of Imphal, Manipur, made of Nitin Samurailatpam (vocals and lead guitar), Avinash Thokchom (bass) and Jyotin Elangbam (drums). Formed just in the April of 2017, they’re fresh from self-released their debut 6-track EP “AKA Lo Peninsula”.
Although they claim to not have a well-equipped studio in their town, their impressive rich and fresh sound and mature songwriting stoked me from the first listen. running along the boundaries between shoegaze, psychedelia, dream pop and anthemic UK indie (The Verve, Oasis). The cathartic lyrics that deal with existential struggles uncover further nuances to the menu.
Spanning from the shoegaze-scented lysergic rush of fuzz-out driven guitars of “Sleight of Hand” and “Quicksand (Nuffin)”, and the shimmery instrumental shoegazing soundscape of “Flashback Kid”, to the heartfelt jangly dreamy balladry of “Evil Favours” and the killer hook-heavy Oasis-esque groovy guitar classicism of “Final Roar”, make the EP a stunner of a debut, with absolutely no fillers.
“Another Divine Joke” is an infectious and emotionally wrenching song about introspection, impending doom, and chaos. A crispy, pulsing bassline carries the melody, sparkly guitar chords and steady drum beats follow suit, repetitive and hypnotic. The volume and the tension build awash in a soaring, mesmerizing swirl of reverberations and riffs with sprinkles of fuzz, setting a hazy, dizzy cosmic soundscape embedded with breathy and woozy vocals injecting, by contrast, a feeling of deep woe and apprehension. There are no rules in life, it’s a joke, terrible things can and will happen. Chaos arises every day, we have no control, and “there’s nowhere to run and hide”.
The accompanying video takes us on a journey through vast landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes. Projected upon the band members as they play their instruments giving the illusion of playing through the force of nature.. The self projections and mirror images further enhance the feeling of being both against and at one with nature.
Keep with Lo! Peninsula: