Sounds from the Suburbs
by Katie Sauro
La Cha-Cha sounds like the name of one of those new-fangled dance-pop bands that are so prominent today, complete with electronic blips and synth-heavy rhythms. And while, yes, the songs on this Spokane band’s debut are catchy, and a few even incorporate the occasional electronic programming, it is their pure, stripped down blues-inspired indie rock that caught my attention.
Each song on Sounds from the Suburbs seems to start out slowly and build in intensity, both musically and vocally, tossing in a few shimmering Doug Martsch-like guitar solos along the way. Their sound is polished and tight, ranging from the warm vocals and slower, jazzy feel on “Let Me” to the quick tempo, catchy rhythms, and jangly guitar of Rogue Wave emulation, “Bricks and Rusty Metal.”
“Station #5” is probably the highlight on the album, the soaring reverb sounding like a cross between Ester Drang and Modest Mouse, and the powerful two-pronged guitar attack and impressive screeching solos demanding attention. La Cha-Cha seems to thrive on these intense, contemplative power ballads and pretty instrumentation.
But they mix it up a bit throughout the album, with, for example, a sitar-infused “Smile to Hide.” And on the title track, they aim for an electronica-and-distortion sound, which doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the album either, but when guitarist Larren Wolford’s familiar vocals pipe in, it sounds just right.
For more information on La Cha-Cha, visit www.lacha-cha.com or www.myspace.com/lachachamusic.