It’s late and there’s no chance of any sleep soon. There’s too much caffeine in my system to lay my head down on the pillow and drift away. My brain is wired and my thoughts are mismatched – time for a distraction. An EP that’s been recently recommended is Lighten Up Laura’s Acting Your Age. Instead of opening the link to SoundCloud, I try my luck with Spotify, and luckily, the EP is the first on the list. Bingo. I press play and get introduced to the band instantly with the song “Take Your Shirt Off (It Looks Better When On Me).” The caffeine that’s been laying somewhat dormant until now starts sending buzzes and jolts of electricity around my body. This is not a band that requires a second listen to ensure you like what you’re hearing. It hooks you in straight away with sophisticated guitar, and laid-back, relaxing vocals that have a hint of angst and agony. “Take Your Shirt Off” feels like a public display of intimacy, like the guys have ripped open their chests to share their fears and desires in confidence.
The intimacy can also be seen in the track “Apart From,” which is slower than “Take Your Shirt Off,” but still holds a great amount of power and emotion within the instruments. The EP starts to quicken its tempo in the the song, “Missed The Boat,” and you can start to see the music fit in with their self description of “Unnecessarily loud and fast-past ramblings” as seen on their facebook page, and I think they’ve pretty much got it spot on. It’s not every day you come across a band with hinted undertones of Placebo, Foo Fighters and Incubus all in one. In fact, I believe whatever genre a person was to favor, Lighten Up Laura have the ability to adhere and appeal to most with their unique and well constructed sound. “Plactecine” takes a different feel, but still holds on to that emotion that Lighten Up Laura hands out in abundance. The song is heavily complimented by the bass, giving the song the overall positive and upbeat attitude.
“Unnecessarily loud and fast-paced ramblings.”
With the mixing and help of Neil Kennedy at The Ranch, who has seen names such as Creeper and Moose Blood, and George Gallivan engineering, Acting Your Age is the first EP release from the band. Lighten Up Laura is a combination of students studying performance and production courses at Southampton Solent University. The jointed faces behind Lighten Up Laura are not only dedicated but willingly putting themselves on the front-line, showing clear passion and dedication for the band. Lighten Up Laura doesn’t have years to compare and contrast, with “Chewed Up,” and “You,” being released as standalone singles earlier this year. Although, there are major differences and similarities. Both independent singles are musically beautiful and showcases their originality, but Acting Your Age feels more concise, with clear direction and a firm grip on their distinctive sound. The bands influences range across various genres including Moose Blood, Lower Than Atlantis, Baston Manor, Lonely The Brave and ABBA; Acting Your Age is not only a wonderfully compiled showcase of their talents but they have made their mark on the Southampton scene, and a genuine stepping stone into a fast-paced and ever-changing industry.
The most mesmerizing aspects of Acting Your Age is the vocal range of Ollie Maxwell and the cadency and energetic drumming of Sammy Abecassis that really puts this EP together. It’s worth noting that the efforts placed into Lighten Up Laura by the whole band including guitarist Rory Smith and bassist Fred Devonport are what distinguishes them, because despite the outstanding components of Acting Your Age, what makes it special is the hard work and talent of all the members combined.