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October 6th, 2009 · post by Mikey · Make a comment

Record label: Heart on Fire, Boo, Codex, Désertion, IdeozloCin, Patches vs Buttons, Revolution Summer, Samuel, Waking the Dead

This is a hidden gem of a record, released last year on a host of DIY labels, Lakmé hail from the Czech Republic and it is obvious that this is a group who hold DIY punk very close to their hearts. Housed in a screen-printed sleeve with a handsome woodcut on the front cover, inside you have the LP, a cute sticker and a wonderful thick booklet of song lyrics and explanations translated into several languages and with contributions from different band members. Their views on mental health issues and sexism are interesting reading and it is heartening to still hear from bands who give a fuck about speaking about these things regardless if it’s not longer the 90’s or it’s not ‘cool’ to be a PC punk.

Of course this would all be a wonderful effort but ultimately fruitless if the music itself didn’t hold up. Fortunately I can say that the music on this is excellent and Lakmé play passionate hardcore punk as if their very lives depended on it. The vocals alter from a desperate roar to hushed spoken-word and musically the band switch from blasting, melancholic hardcore to quieter, reflective passages based around lilting guitar work and some nicely restrained playing from the rhythm section. This cross-pollination of styles puts Lakmé in that wonderful area of being too crusty for a normal emo/ screamo band but also way too melodic to be your average hardcore or crust band. I could see fans of Zegota and 1905 really enjoying this, and for those who’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the first Ekkaia record and Children of Fall’s ‘Ignition For Poor Hearts’ I would seriously recommend hunting down this LP as it gives me a similar feeling to those 2 beautiful albums.

Lakmé have been on hiatus for a while but I think now have plans to reform and there is also talk of releasing a retrospective CD of earlier material. Whether or not we will have the pleasure of seeing them live I would still suggest that curious parties hunt this record down, it deserves way more attention than it has currently received and I hope on the strength of this LP that they do get back together and start writing some new songs. I for one can’t get enough of them.

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