La Res: Revolution – May 2011

With the help of gritty guitar tones, driving bass lines, and compelling melodies, La Res concocts an intriguing amalgam that aggressively and passionately cries out calls for redemption, self-empowerment, and an ultimate liberation in their first full-length album Revolution, due out in Spring 2011.

“La Res is a throwback to the rebellion rock of the mid 1970’s: a radical band with something meaningful to say. And perhaps the best NYC hard rock live band right now.”

_Knocks from the Underground

Revolution is just what the title suggests: an overthrowing and surmounting of one system of order and replacing it with one that is newly discovered through a series of struggles. The New York City trio, who has recorded their full-length album with music producer, Roger Greenawalt (The Pierces, Ben Kweller, Adam Green), explores two opposing realms of being: the period of time in which one feels enslaved in misery and in war, and the celestial beauty of freedom that emerges after the heavy shackles have been lifted and ultimately destroyed. The album illustrates a desolate life of strife and sorrow, and the long and seemingly arduous process of allowing oneself to release one’s vice grip on destiny and start over with brand new eyes. With the band’s metaphorical rising of the phoenix from the ashes comes a breath of new life that yearns to go outside and finally breathe. However, with each new breath of hope comes a reminiscence of a seemingly indelible past, which burdens the inhalations and exhalations of the metamorphosis. Nevertheless, the songs look to the horizon with promise, having faith in the hope of one day being free from the wretchedness of the past. La Res blends elements of 70s Rock, Blues, Alternative, and Grunge, in order to create a musical coalescence that is unparalleled and uncanny.

The opening track, “The Drop” hits with a dirty, rebellious guitar riff, which instantaneously illustrates the image of a revitalized man sauntering with a kick in his step. With grit and ardor in his voice, La Res lead singer and bassist, K. Lorrel Manning sings, “The time has come for me to make a change / Got to walk away from the things that kept me enslaved / Get out of my way.” “Trapeze” is a dark, desperate cry out for salvation that shows the abysmal and bleak consequences of both a physical and emotional war. The song, which alludes to post-traumatic stress disorder, illustrates the torture one experiences during a period of battle. Through the presence of his anguish, Manning sings, “God above, hear my call / I see blood on the wall / I’m losing grip, help me please / I’m dying up here on my flying trapeze.” A reckoning of inner struggles occurs in “Strongest Man,” as Manning tries his hardest to make it on his own and tackle his own struggles with the cynical and critical mindset of a desperado seeking to redeem his shaky, heavy-burdened soul. After fighting these distressing sentiments, a new leaf is found in “Freedom Song,With a weathered soul and optimism progressively waning before his eyes, hope is rejuvenated as Manning utters, “A ladder to climb / The limit is the sun / Wipe the tears from your eyes / One battle has been won.” The closing track of the album, “This Road” solidifies the feeling of hopefulness, as Manning’s fears, doubts, and agonies are allayed. He sings, “This road will free me of my pain / This road is calling my name / This road will free me of my pain / This road is calling my name.”

The band’s first full-length release will coincide with the release of the narrative film feature,Happy New Year, which was directed by Manning who received a MFA in film from the prestigious Columbia University. The film has been chosen as an official selection for the narrative competition at the upcoming annual 2011 SXSW Festival held in Austin, Texas.Happy New Year is the gripping story of “Sgt. Cole Lewis” who, mentally and physically scarred by his time served in Iraq and Afghanistan, finds humanity, compassion and friendship in a group of similarly injured veterans in the psychiatric ward at a remote Veterans Hospital. The group, ranging from guys left behind from WWII and Vietnam, to those recently injured in the Middle East, slowly becomes Lewis’ new family. Along with them, he attempts to redefine his sense of self, and find a new place in the world. With sentiments of experiencing trauma and finding healing attached to both, the film features six songs off ofRevolution including “Dustchild (Remember my Name),” “Strongest Man,” “This Road,” “Trapeze,”  “Freedom Song and “Brave the Fire.”

La Res was formed in 2008 when its three members got together and decided to bring into fruition the music they couldn’t, but wanted to find on the radio or in the store. Though radically different in personality and musical tastes, the chemistry between the three (K. Lorrel Manning on bass and lead vocals, Dave Riccardi on guitar, and Johnny Morris on drums) is undeniable. This band of mystics has created a massive amount of material in a short period of time and is looking for every opportunity to disseminate it throughout the masses. Manning’s lyrics tend to focus on the deeply personal, political, and/or spiritual, while Riccardi finds every possible way to bring the perfect guitar tones, and Morris the ultimate groove. The product of this artistic alchemy is music that is raw, driving, unapologetic and most important of all, real. In only two years of playing popular NYC venues as the Mercury Lounge, Pianos, Webster Hall, and residency at the National Underground, the band has earned a reputation for their incredibly powerful and electrifying live shows.