Review: Lacey – Outlaws

Lacey have been busy in recent times, the release of two EPs in 2012, What Use Is Wasting Time and Chapters, has been followed in with a plethora of live shows allowing the band to start to establish themselves on the national circuit. Now with their third EP Outlaws to be released on September 13, the future could be bright for the alt-rock four-piece from Nottingham.

Starting off the latest four song sampler is ‘Hometown’ and as intros go, it doesn’t disappoint. Bringing out the powerful fist-punching melodies straight away, it is easy to see why Lacey list bands such as Taking Back Sunday and Kids in Glass Houses among the artists they take inspiration from. With a fast paced drum beat giving it a very pop-punkish sound, ‘Hometown’ also has slower moments, showcasing powerful riffs and great hooks.

Second track ‘Contender’ stands out as the ‘something a bit different’ on the EP. It starts much more slowly than the other three and plays out like an anthemic ballad, but rather than crowing vocals bassist (and lead vocalist) Graham Turner puts a lot more variation as well as power and emotion behind the lyrics, sounding more like a song from You Me At Six than say, Hinder. The emergence of the melodic guitars and slow drum beat give the whole song much more of an alt-rock ballad sound.

I’m sure they won’t mind the comparison to You Me At Six and there’s no reason why they couldn’t follow in their footsteps. While not being too similar, Turner’s vocals are certainly reminiscent of Josh Franceschi’s, with the ability to hit the high notes and keep the melodies, yet still giving bursts of a stronger and more aggressive side. ‘Contender’ is the sort of song that can get a band like Lacey noticed, bringing listeners their way before getting them hooked on their staple of pop/alt-rock.

The faster and more rocky beat is brought back with ‘Burning Out’. A fast-paced intro slows down for the delivery of the verses, before speeding up again to deliver a catchy and foot-tapping chorus. The track really slows down the pace for the bridge where Turner’s vocals subside to give way for unaccompanied gang chanted vocals. The powerful backing chants of “We all fall down, we all do nothing” remain even after the guitar, bass and drums explode back to life in a powerful final rendition of the chorus and as the song fades out we are left with only the gang vocals once again, lulling the track to sleep.

The calm before the storm is a technique used in final track ‘Let It Go’ just as well, slowing the song right down before it bursts back to life, with Dave Pearson behind the drums really impressing on a song that may only be rock-lite, but definitely deserves to be called more than ‘pop’.

Having toured with The Blackout, becoming finalists at Red Bull Studios Download Festival Competition and headlining the Red Rooms Stage at Hit the Deck Festival, 2013 has been a big year already for the Nottinghamshire quartet. Now with Outlaws ready to hit the shops (so to speak), the year could end in just as much glory as it began. Before long Lacey could hit the big scene and find themselves with a lot more airtime, following in the path of fellow Nottinghamshire lad Jake Bugg.

4.5 out of 5 high fives!