Joe Lally Dischord page
Joe Lally myspace
Joe Lally website
I'm not gonna lie. I wouldn't have bothered checking out Joe Lally's solo stuff if i didn't find out he was touring Australia. Being a Fugazi fan myself,I knew i would kick myself in the head if i missed the gig. I had missed The Evens when they came out here 2 or 3 years ago and i'm still bummed over that.
So i downloaded (gulp) his latest solo effort, Nothing is Underrated not knowing what to expect. I'm not really good at describing something but if i were to describe his music it would be a minimal, sparse, bass-driven alternative rock. Upon first listen, i was disappointed. The songs were nice, calm and well...safe for the most part. But they seem incomplete and goes nowhere. They didn't have the explosiveness that Fugazi has nor the unique quality that a lot of Dischord bands have.
After a couple of listens, the album started to become more interesting since i'm picking up things that i wasn't before. Guitars in "Scavenger Garden" is simply 3 minutes of ear-blistering walls of noise and feedback. "Pieces of String" is a quiet piece only utilizing Lally's simple bass as the backbone and organs at the end. It became clear to me that Nothing is Underrated is a really personal album. The lyrics are very much social-aware and poetic at the same time. Lally's sparse arrangements and somewhat monotone vocals delivery achieves what his songs intended to do. Nothing is Underrated is not an amazing or groundbreaking in any way but Lally's attempt at individuality and honesty is simply admirable and enjoyable.
Here's a video of Joe Lally performing Scavenger Garden at the Step Inn, Brisbane that i recorded and uploaded myself.
Apparently on this Australian tour, Lally is accompanied by 2/4th (A drummer and a guitarist) of a Sydney band called Gallucci who i ashamedly had never heard of before this tour. They were great musicians when i saw them playing with Lally in Brisbane so i will definitely check them out soon.
Also, at one point during his last song, Lally put his bass down and proceed to sit on the floor right in front of me (I sat about 4-5 feet away from the band) while the rest of the band kept playing. Cool.