So it’s pretty straightforward, ‘Growing Pains’ has to be played with the volume up to 11. Simples.
This is the debut album by Nashville’s Lobby Language out now on Analog Boy Records, and the skill here is outstanding. Yes, the obvious inspiration of Foo Fighters can be heard but there is a rawness and aggression which introduces their talent like the blast of a rocket.
Opening track ‘Get Away With It’ sets the intention of the album. Strong vocals in synch with those thrashing guitars and wild riffs. The themes the album draw on are frontman Noah Klibonoff’s own experiences of growth from 18 to 22 years of age. The inner questions are common to us all, trying to work out our identity, finding our confidence and learning how to engage with the world and others around us. It can be a tough challenging time, and this album embodies the angst. ‘Hypocrite’ revolves around beating yourself up, with a hardcore twist plus the most extraordinary guitar solo midway through.
And then straight into ‘Whiskey’, no pausing for breath. Alcohol is a common rite of passage in our formative years and Lobby Language acknowledge it here with a blast of rock that Jack Daniels himself would be proud of. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism is never going to end well and it’s reflected in this track.
‘The Enemy’ is my favourite track on the album. A previous single; it has a frenetic pace that never lets up through the whole song. The vocals ‘I am the enemy’ sings Noah. Do we have our own self-sabotage button? In these formative years, we question so much of our behaviour and have not yet learnt to have the courage of our convictions which comes from experience.
This album has taken three years to produce, and show the determination and tenacity of Lobby Language to get it completed and out into the world. Setbacks have included creative standstills, constant overdubs and of course the pandemic, but they have persevered.
‘Go The Distance’ and ‘Helpless in Love’ both have a slightly slower pace but then we are into ‘Drop Out’ and bam! we’re right back on it. Snarling and kicking with that furious scuzzy guitar and impassioned screaming vocals.
However, it’s not all about the turmoil of the journey of life when we are young. ‘Everything’s Alright’ is a reassuring upbeat expression of our resilience, and that the storm can be weathered.
The final track on the album is ‘Memories’. At almost 7 minutes it’s by far the longest song on ‘Growing Pains’. It shows a level of self-confidence to close a rock album on its perhaps its softest track. But the acoustic style abruptly switches 4 minutes in with some mighty impressive electric guitar riffs, and the atmosphere changes. “I want to go home” repeated over and over is emotional and heartfelt. It speaks of a desire for peace within, and it is a perfect message to end this highly accomplished debut on.
Noah is joined by Brandon Bernier (Vocals and Guitar), Tim Kenner (Bass) and Sam Rivera (Drums and Backing Vocals) and together as Lobby Language they have successfully negotiated their growing pains, and I cannot wait to see what’s next.
To find out more do check out their Facebook and Bandcamp pages and ‘Growing Pains’ is available now