Brent Dudash has bookended the new Lasso Spells album, Bohemian Mechanics, with two guitar driven jewels “Be What You Want” and the finale “Un Deux Trois”. There’s a wealth of excellent material sandwiched between these outstanding cuts, but “Be What You Want” kicks Bohemian Mechanics off with a whip-tight guitar riff and Dudash’s vocal presence burning strong enough to melt steel. He comes off as confident, cocky, and dead certain how to convey the lyrics and the character Dudash brings to the song is the thing putting it over the top. The kinetic energy of the first song gives way to a more restrained approach with the second track “Yeah Right”.
There’s a dark rumble surrounding the guitar playing on Bohemian Mechanics and it has an especially memorable sound with this track. Dudash works some nice touches into the lyrics that, like the music, never risk the overstated and allow listeners instead to form their own interpretations. The wide open nature of Lasso Spells’ music is one of its most attractive parts – you can project your own experiences and emotions on the material. “Grow” incorporates spectral keyboards, a primal percussive stomp, and an appreciable degree of menace missing from earlier songs. The light touch of his vocal strikes a marked contrast with the music, but they end up sympathetic to one another and reach a peak with this track.
“High Tide” has another outstanding vocal melody in the heart of the song that Dudash takes full advantage of, but the instrumentation is every bit as effective. The words for this song are another high point on Bohemian Mechanics and it’s impossible to not admire the same lean aesthetic he brings to the writing likewise present in his music. “Wild” has a steady amble from the outset with reverb and distortion heavy guitar leading the way, but the drumming is exceptional as well. It ends in memorable fashion with an extended coda where Lasso Spells essentially reinterprets the song with a hushed trajectory.
Acoustic and electric guitar work together on the track “There It Goes” and the deliberate stomp forming the song’s foundation gives Lasso Spells a powerful base from where he can build this tune. It’s one of the best numbers on Bohemian Mechanics. “Slangin”, the album’s penultimate tune, has a harsh churn and rolls over listeners with its insistent dissonant riffing. Dudash breaks it up just the right amount, however, so the effect is never monotonous. The aforementioned finale “Un Deux Trois” has swagger for days and another vocal melody Dudash can inhabit from the first syllable onward. Bohemian Mechanics is one of the more memorable albums I’ve heard in recent memory
Brent Dudash’s first album under the Lasso Spells moniker Stuck in a Shape made a big impact on the indie scene, but Bohemian Mechanics is set to take him even further thanks to the inspired tilt defining each of its ten songs. It’s a project that has come a long way since its 2016 inception and we can only assume future releases will even surpass this one; Bohemian Mechanics doesn’t show any signs of Dudash’s creativity slowing.