MODERN BLUES is a powerful, guitar-driven rock ‘n roll record. Sonically it’s a far cry from the band’s 2005 debut, SOMEPLACE CLOSER TO HERE (456/Fontana). MODERN BLUES was written mostly on the road over the past 2 years while Thom Donovan (vocals/guitar), Kevin Bachmann (bass) and Brett Voelker (drums) were out supporting their debut album. That tour included shows with The Sounds, Hot Hot Heat, and Nikka Costa as well as DJ sets in NYC with Andy Rourke from The Smiths and Kasabian. LAPUSH would also make their network television debut on Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC. Brett Voelker left the band in Sept 2006 and was replaced by newcomer, Neil Bardon (formerly of the band, Daniel).
“Neil has added so much life and positive energy to the band,” Donovan recalls. “We had spent the past 2 years playing the same songs every night. Things had become routine and I didn’t feel like we were taking any chances.”
Lyrically, MODERN BLUES deals with life, love, loss and finding a way to pick up the pieces to move forward. Donovan’s father passed away in 2006, which inspired the album’s opening track, Closer. “It was a very difficult time. My dad taught me so much. He introduced me to music and I wanted to write a song that would celebrate what an amazing person he was.” Donovan says. “Kevin came up with this new tuning which I used to write Closer. I felt my dad’s spirit as I was writing that song. He loved Motown, so I wrote the song with a “Motown” beat in mind. I “borrowed” the drum pattern from Stop! In The Name of Love by The Supremes.”
MODERN BLUES is a driving and dynamic record. There are moments that recall the atmospheric feel of the first album. But those moments are soon followed by a wall of guitars supported by the powerful rhythm section of Bachmann and Bardon. “We wanted this record to have more of a groove to it.”
The influences are still the same. You can hear early U2 on Run. You can hear Definitely Maybe-era Oasis on Get Up. But, MODERN BLUES is the sound of a band growing. “LAPUSH take their influences and blend them into a sound that is uniquely their own.” – Amplifier Magazine.
Another major influence on this record was Brian Wilson. “I was listening to Pet Sounds religiously over the past year.” Recalls Donovan. “In the past, I’ve always used guitars or keyboards as layers and this time around I wanted to use my voice.” The Brian Wilson-inspired voices become apparent on the album’s final track, All The Lost Souls. All The Lost Souls also features Richard Fortus (Guns N Roses, BT, Psychedelic Furs) on cello and Adam Maness (Erin Bode) on Fender Rhodes Piano.
The album title is a summation of what the songs are about. Everyone in every day life deals with personal struggles or “blues”. Donovan adds, “Losing a parent is such a tough thing. It doesn’t just go away after a few months. It’s a pain so deep…you can’t begin to put it into words unless you’ve lived through it. But death teaches us that life is precious.” That’s the sound of MODERN BLUES.