This is a review of "Got Gumption" recorded by L-Mo. The review was written by David Brookmyre in 2010.
The Leeds based band L-Mo and their album 'Got Gumption' bring a fresh,
feel good factor to your day.
The forth track, 'Simple Living' is an absolute triumph. It's a releasable single without a doubt due to its timing and aptness. The instrumentation is simple and well chosen, with very accomplished acoustic riffs throughout the album. Glockenspiels ring out adding to the innocent sentiment. The track climbs and falls beautifully with lead guitar and vocals from Luke Moseley aka Mr-Mo.
A light and tight rhythm section formed by PM Jones aka Phil-Mo on bass and backing vocals with Evan Q Bourke aka Q-Mo on drums give a playful back line.
From the opening track 'Who's doing what to who?' you're hit with a funk-filled acoustic train. Counted in with a 'uno, dos, tres, quatro!!' their sound is spacious, giving the band headroom to climb higher. L-Mo's asset is the simplicity of their instrumentation. Lead vocals are full of character and buoyancy commentating you through the songs. Production is good with some well-used panning at times. The band use modern instrumentation including beat boxes and string synths for track two, 'Contagious' and track three 'Certainty.' Both bestow hip-hop influences, textures of tremolo synthesisers and more falsetto backing vocals.
Impressively, track five 'Too Bad,' opens with dissonant latin acoustic guitar and vocals with a crescendo that wouldn't be out of place at a Brazilian carnival. Vocals include a beat box vocal tap technique slowing to a halt. This highlights the quick lipped skill of the lead vocals in L-MO. They have talent in abundance.
Track six 'Alakazam' is a simple acoustic ditty and vocalised trumpets. 'Got Gumption' is experimental and humanly expressive. The whole album is sprinkled with delightful acoustic arpeggios and chordal voicing, but it almost feels like the album doesn't start until track four.
Track seven 'Remember to Forget' gives the whole band a run out. Sonically, it's the heaviest track on the album but this is by no means a criticism. Indeed, we get to hear more from the rhythm section throwing single/double stroke drums rolls and breaking beats.
To wrap up the album, L-MO give us the song 'Classicbox' which is led by acoustic guitar giving a melody of hammered notes that elegantly flow and repeat. We're treated to more beat box vocal tap that sees out the album.
Many of the songs on this album have a near complete feel to them. Much of the album is wonderfully experimental. In keeping to their album title, 'Got Gumption' is bold, full of enterprise and initiative, if a little under developed at times. The band would treat any audience to something real and entertaining. This is one of the few demos that I have actually put onto my iPod this year.