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Loki: Loki

A singer/song-writer

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Mad Scientist Power Pop with a Flamenco Twist

  • Jun 18, 2011
Rating:
+4
While researching my review of "Thor," I came across a local artist, Loki.  His self titled debut album will be the subject of my next review.  Enjoy...

West Chester Pennsylvania's music scene has been marked by catchy pop-guitars playing themselves off as alternative rock.  Furthermore the region has begun the infusion of a very distinct finger-style technique into the medium.  This has been evident in bands such as Untrained Eye and Anthony de Maria, both popular in the area.  But at the forefront of this movement stands the singer/song-writer Loki.  "I started out in college playing classical guitar at like Mocha-Momma's and Fenarios and by the time I was a senior there were like four other guys doing it, so I'm like damn, I gotta do something else," he said in an interview in 2010.  Sounding like a cross between Leo Brower and the Goo Goo Dolls, Loki began work on his debut solo album in 2009 after his split with ODD.  It is a brilliant blend of pop-rock and classical flamenco.

We open with the first track, "You're a Ghost."  It had a familiar not quite 90's vibe to it, like something off the soundtrack to "Freddy's Dead."  Power chords climb some unseen ladder only to be knocked down before a bone chilling chorus.  The second track is a complete 180 to the sensitive ballad "Find my Eyes."  This beautifully written piece appears to be a narrative from the point of view of someone with autism with the feel of a more sedate "Time of your Life."  Next we have the slightly ballsier "Livin' in a Bubble."  It's like "Cheap Dog" took on a grungier edge.  The overdriven, biting power chords of the verse slide into tertian harmonies that I initially thought were played on a piano.  Turns out it was just something weird Loki was able to do with his guitar settings.  The guitar solo feels like it could have come from Jimmy Page doing a guest spot on a Triumph song.  Next we come to the slow and nebulous "Black Hole."  A bass and guitar metalicly hover back and forth between variations of two chords atop low lyrics then burst into distorted power chords beneath a voice wailing out, "Froze in time," over and over.  The bridge feels more like the development section to a Rondo than the bridge of a pop song.  Kind of like if Jimi Hendrix did the bridge to "When you're Gone," as it leads into one last chorus that ends abruptly.  Track five is the very danceable "Don't Fall Apart."  The instruments sound like a Kings of Leon a la Carlos Santana song but there is a beautiful electric finger-picking bridge that, although is definitely on the guitar, feels like it could be faked on the electric piano.  The melancholy "You Always Knew" is next.  This song is totally Incubus-esque all the way from the way the verse feels down to the moaning bridge.  With three chorus sections, the lyrics are different in all of them, which I found to be refreshingly unusual.  And they served well to breakup the pace between verses.  The bridge also makes an interesting use of tremlo finger-picking.  "She Said" is probably the best written song off the album.  In a lot of ways it flows like a Nirvana song hovering in the middle register with changes between palm-muting and rasgueado.  Totally a Kurt Cobain guitar solo in this one.  Next we come to "Neutralized," a slow breakup ballad.  The acoustic guitar pays homage to "Wish you were here," in a bitter, sarcastic reboot with a much sexier bass line.  The next song "Sucker 4 U" is what I imagine it would sound like if John Meyer wrote video game music for an old Super Nintendo.  "Still Alive" is doubtlessly the angriest track on the album.  It's a total grunge throw back that gets very Incubus at certain points.  "The Unwanted" has a very familiar feel that I really struggle to put my finger on.  It's like an acoustic 311 joined forces with Metallica having replaced James Hatfield with John Rzeznick.  The last track, "One Week," is what I imagine "Semi-Charmed Kind of Life" would have sounded like if it were written by Steven Lynch.  I swear it's the raunchiest pop song I've ever heard that used absolutely no bad words.

For more on Loki, you can check out their myspace at:  http://www.myspace.com/loukotamusic
And their twitter at:  http://twitter.com/LokiBA42

The album is available on Amazon at:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003X6DMGM/ref=dm_sp_alb
Mad Scientist Power Pop with a Flamenco Twist Mad Scientist Power Pop with a Flamenco Twist

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Rob Roznik ()
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Wiki


Describing his music as mix of “heartbreak, humor and hangover” Loki, a shaggy wisecracker from West Chester Pennsylvania, mixes indie rock with symphonic pop. The essence of the Jimi Hendrix, the Goo Goo Dolls, Dave Matthews Band and the Kings of Leon fuels Loki’s warm acoustic stylings.

The son of an opera singer, Loki studied classical guitar at West Chester University where went to work blending finger-style techniques that have been in development for centuries with modern-day rock and roll – much of his time spent in a moldy house developing classical etudes based on rock themes. Loki further honed his craft with the West Chester Guitar Ensemble and the Philadelphia Guitar Society before joining the coffee-house-circuit playing bands including West Chester’s Bloodsong and Untrained Eye. As a solo artist, appearances at the Gryphon and Fennario’s and a long running relationship with Milkboy provided Loki with early critical live exposure. With bright and energetic shows Loki creates a lively atmosphere as he jams out well-crafted songs and undated lyrics.

As a songwriter, Loki delivers honest and intelligent lyrics referencing a variety of subjects ranging from science to fantasy. Pieces thread together with wit, irony and raw emotion, wedding heartland pop craftsmanship with heart-on-your sleeve emotionality. Some of his most popular songs include “Don’t Fall Apart” and “Livin’ in a Bubble” from ...
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