Alive and Kicking

'Be There Pulse' is the second full-length offering from Danish band Lack although it might as well be their first, as after some extensive touring and dubious adventures they fell apart in 2002. This new album is the first offering from Lack since their reformation and by all accounts is quite markedly different from their previous material 'We are not people to renounce our past. We just don't like to repeat it'. Fair enough.

Lack are very good, what they have is a sound that is quite different from today's usual 'alternative' offerings, which tend to stretch from rehashed rock and roll at one end of the spectrum to ska/kiddy punk at the other. So far, so good.

Much as I like this album though, there is no getting away from the fact that in places it sounds exactly like Fugazi. In fact, the first song 'Marathon Man' could be lifted from any Fugazi album of the last 15 years! This isn't a bad thing, in fact, quite the contrary, Fugazi were and are so unique that to be able to create something approaching their sound is some achievement. Lack get away with it though because there isn't anybody else doing this kind of angst, art, indie punk (well you try and describe Fugazi?!) at the moment which in turn makes them stand out from the crowd. There are some variations, track 5 for instance 'New American Century.org' is reminiscent of Million Dead with its busy and passionate delivery of the lyrics. Again, this is no bad thing.

What Lack do have in their songs is the contrast of hard and light but where they fall short is that they lack the fragile beauty of the finer moments of Fugazi. This means that by the last couple of tracks it does start to sound a little repetitive which is a shame, as for a band in transition this is an extremely good album. Let's hope they can go one better next time.