Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Dany Laj and the Looks - RetroSpectacle

Hot on the heels of their rightfully acclaimed album Ten Easy Pieces, Sudbury, Ontario's Dany Laj and the Looks have reached back into the vaults to assemble a new collection of the best tracks from all of their previous releases. Available now from the illustrious Spanish labels Kick Out The Jams and Snap!! Records, RetroSpectacle collects songs from the full-length releases Word on the Street (2016), Alive and Kicking (2017), and Everything New Is New Again (2019) along with a couple non-LP tracks to form an absolutely bulletproof compilation of power pop rock and roll hits. With the original releases now out of print, this is a great way for fans to own some of the band's most essential tracks on vinyl (and very soon on CD!). 

Laj and his partner in life and music, Jeanette Dowling, are the two constants here across these 12 tracks. They're joined by a host of drummers and keyboardists who've helped give life to these fantastic songs. I've been on the Laj train since 2017 and am pleased to find many of my favorite tracks here such as "Sweet Pretender", "Mister Screaming Attitude", "Hold For Love", and the terrific 2018 single "Left To Right One". I've also discovered a couple of old gems in "I Know You Want Out" and "Best Thing In Town" that have immediately ascended to my favorites list. While "power pop" broadly describes this band's music, I've always appreciated how Laj has never limited himself to a specific genre. He's a singer/songwriter first and foremost, and his songs reflect the influence of everything from punk to folk to indie rock to classic pop & rock and roll. There's more than a little Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello in his musical DNA! 

RetroSpectacle nicely sums up the "early years" of Dany Laj & The Looks. By no means does it make the purchase of the albums unnecessary (I especially recommend Everything New Is New Again). But if you've discovered this band through Ten Easy Pieces and now find yourself wanting more, RetroSpectacle is a convenient way to catch up on the very best of the group's prior output. And if you've never heard Dany Laj and the Looks, this is certainly a fine place to start! A North American release on compact disc is due out early in the new year from Rum Bar Records. The Rum Bar release tacks on a couple of digital bonus tracks ("Annie" and "My Head") which KOTJ and Snap!! have released separately as a limited 7" single. Whether you're a longtime Laj supporter or just a fan of guitar pop with heart, RetroSpectacle is well worth your time. Follow the links below for all of the pertinent details!

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