Album Review: Luca Brasi – If This Is All We’re Going to Be (2016 LP)

Luca Brasi are one of those bands who, when you see them perform live, it’s impossible not to feed off the energy the band generates on stage. The band exudes an ebullient confidence that has been showcased well over their previous two albums and with their latest release, If This is All We’re Going to Be, the Tasmanians have refined and captured this energy I refer to and bring it into the studio for what is definitely some of their best material yet.

Having spoken with bass player/vocalist Tyler Richardson about the making of the album recently, he noted the sense of unity and togetherness Luca Brasi felt when making this album more over any of their other releases. Now living in the same city and with a larger focus on the band’s music moving forward, Luca Brasi have become a tighter group of musicians. This is a dynamic you can hear in full play on If This is All We’re Going to Be – the melodies are just as joyous, but they’re also more polished. The drumming and guitar progressions are still frenetic, but the chaos is perhaps more sophisticated on this album.

“The Cascade Blues” is probably my favourite track of the album aside from “Aeroplane” and “Count Me Out”, reminding me of that instant satisfaction and captivation you often feel when seeing your favourite band (or, new favourite) really kick into high gear.

“Aeroplane” and “Spin and Collapse” are two early standouts, exemplifying Richardson’s earnest rock vocal that easily evokes the passionate delivery Wil Wagner has become synonymous with The Smith Street Band, say. There’s an intensity about the music that harks back to Aussie punk bands of the late nineties and early aughts; a relentless approach to lyricism and a fusion of mad punk riffs with surprising moments of quietness and intimacy five tracks into an album.

Luca Brasi found their rhythm as songwriters and fully embraced it, I feel, on 2014’s By a Thread, even though we saw hints of it on their 2007 debut. If This is All We’re Going to Be is like a love note to the past and looks ahead to the future with shining promise. This a band with a huge future ahead of them and as their live reputation continues to swell with praise and grow stronger, Luca Brasi have shown once again that they’ve got the stock to be equally as revered and beloved by Aussie music fans as your Jebediahs, your Bodyjars, your Violent Sohos and your Smith Street Bands.

Another fitting chapter in what’s becoming a fascinating and brilliant musical career.

Review Score: 8.5 out of 10.

If This is All We’re Going to Be is out now via Poison City Records.

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