It’s been four years since Halifax rockers Like Motorcycle’s excellent debut album ‘High Hopes‘, and honestly, back in 2016 they probably had high hopes. The album was critically acclaimed, they played shows with Against Me!, Propagandhi, METZ, The Vibrators, Japandroids, The Pack A.D., and Danko Jones, and they took home the 2017 East Coast Music Award for Rising Star Recording of the Year. Things were looking up. Unfortunately, issues with substance abuse, internal break-ups, health issues, and fallout with a former record label nearly did them in. Then came 2020.
So how does a band deal with that kind of adversity? Well if you’re LAM, you put that shit into the gas tank and fire it up. Powered by the stadium-sized fully rounded heavy guitars and big, big drums and bass of the Butch Vig 1990s ‘Dead Broke’ opens with the bombastic ‘Punk Two‘, a song that sums up the what the band says is the underlying theme of the sophomore album: “more egregious aspects of being a rock band, and humans at large – witnessing your idols abuse their positions of power, financial uncertainty, struggling with mental health/trauma, familial separation, and heartbreak… all while being dead broke.”
Throughout 13 tracks, LAM stir potent hooks into a stew of spicy grunge and post-punk rock. The 90s are represented with the aggression and sneer of L7 and Cobain’s innate sense of pop melody on tracks like ‘Idols‘, ‘Swept Out‘ and ‘Back Burner.‘ There’s also the furious Bronx-esque punk of ‘Work‘ and ‘Strange Adventures‘ and driving post-punk ‘Satan Does The Numbers‘, ‘Hotel Hallway‘, and ‘Drew‘. The album takes another mood swing and closes with the howling ‘Wide Awake‘ and its angry, anthemic call out. It’s a fitting end to the album and lyrically suitable for 2020: “I’m wide awake and waiting on the end of the world.”
‘Dead Broke‘ is without a doubt a solid rock album with some heavy thoughts on its mind. But over the 30 minutes it succeeds in releasing a life’s worth of frustration.
Released by Known Accomplice Records, recorded in Vancouver with producer Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, Mother Mother). BUY IT HERE.
Michelle Skelding Drums, Vocals
Kim Carson Bass, Vocals
KT Lamond Guitar, Vocals
David Casey Guitar, Vocals