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Album Review

Lapko's second album is the band's breakthrough both artistically and in popularity. According to the band it's a theme-album about a man who wakes up to a new world, with something wrong about it, but the end result is probably best appreciated for the sonic landscape rather than the elusive lyrical offerings. Recorded for a larger label with time, money and commitment, the CD sputters into being with noisy, brief slow burn of "A Month Among the Years," before the trio cranks up the overdrive with "The Arms." Comparisons to either Tool or Placebo are not out of place, but Lapko manages to add a crisp indie rock vibe to the proceedings with some success. "All the Best Girls," the single release, is a subtle and dynamic flow of propulsive momentum that showcases all the best attributes of the band, and the fluid interaction between the rhythm section and vocalist Ville Malja. Of the following songs, the titular "Scandal" with its shifting tempos and '80s style vocal parts works best. There's even a hint of Queen in the song, and although Malja doesn't have the pipes or theatricality of Freddie Mercury, the combination of new and old is a beautiful success. "Date with Time" makes for a nice break from the otherwise tense proceedings, but unfortunately the song is little more than an interlude. The following selection is fine, but one song after another blends together and there are no further standouts to be witnessed. Regardless of these reservations, Scandal is a big step forward for Lapko. The band performs with verve and polish, and even when the songs or lyrics fail to rise above the average mass, the dynamic interplay and intense vocals consistently deliver engaging performances that manage to elevate the material.


Formed: Harjavalta, Finland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Lapko is a Finnish alternative rock band formed in 1996 by Ville Malja (guitar and vocals), Anssi Nordberg (bass), and Janne Heikkonen (drums). These two art-school dropouts and a metal worker were originally childhood friends in the small town of Harjavalta. Before the onset of their musical career, the three spent much of their early years interested mostly in sports. Initially inspired by the band NOFX, Lapko quickly evolved from melodic punk rock to a more streamlined and intense alternative...
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Scandal, Lapko
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