Album: The Hundredth Monkey
It's easy to see why Lazywall is being hailed "The most widely acclaimed modern rock band in Morocco". They have recorded with legendary producers like Steve Albini (Nirvana), performed at prestigious music festivals like SXSW (Austin TX), Garorock (France), and three times at L’boulevard Festival in Morocco. The band is made up of three Anegay brothers: Monz, Nao and Youssef, who chose classic rock as their main influence. Specifically by bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Shinedown, Tool, Audioslave, and more. Lazywall blends their modern rock sound with Arabic tunes, and musical instruments such as Oud (performed by Younes Fakhar). Lazywall discography consists of four albums: "Apoptosia” (2009), "Restart" (2010), “Aporia’s Bane” (2012), and “Square Minds in Round Heads” (2015). They have just released their fifth studio album “The Hundredth Monkey" this October, and we're excited to take a listen!
Track by Track
Arca Musicae- The album begins with a haunting instrumental melody. Electric guitar layers in with the bass floating deep in the mix, like a mythical sea monster lurking in murky waters. The drums sound huge and powerful. A nice little tune foreshadowing what's to come throughout the album.
The Perfume - "The perfume has to spread to wash away the blame, oriental scent of ladies dancing to the flame" This tune is pure hard rock. The recording quality and production are impressive. The bass, drums and guitars are layered perfectly. A nice back and forth in the verses between heavy rhythm sections and pulled back. Tight harmonies in the chorus. Multiple instrumental break-downs show off the bands range and eclectic flair, and ability to adapt to quick structure changes while maintaining immaculate time.
Desert Flood - "It's time to rise, servants and lords, time to face you all, see through my eyes, red as my blood, in my head you'll crawl" The intro is wonderfully dissonant, they sing of wolves in sheep's clothing, and truth hidden behind curtains... searching for the answers, and getting revenge on people who mislead them. Exciting guitar solos and intense breakdowns, and vocal sections. In this song the lead vocals take a likeness to the sound of the alternative rockers of Incubus.
Invincible - "Who's gonna catch you if you fall?, It's not gonna be me, who's gonna embrace you when you crawl? it's not gonna be me". Melodic guitar and bass blend perfectly as lead vocals build. The song explodes into a super catchy chorus, letting the hypothetical 'Medusa" know she isn't so invincible.
Speciesism - "They are commodities like TV sets and cell phones, we've actually turned animals into inanimate objects, sandwiches & shoes, it is the greatest magic trick ever performed" guest vocals / clip of Gary Yourofsky speaking out on the horrendous "speciesism" that exists in our society, mainly in the commercial meat industry, along with clothing, and cosmetic departments. Chilling to the bone. The songs starts off with doom metal vibes, faraway plastic guitar sounds, heavy riffs, cymbals crashing, with eerie pinch harmonics, vocal harmonies, and loudspeaker effects. Reminiscent of System of A Down energy.
Time Girl - "My blindness taught me to grope my way along, my heartbreaks taught me that pain can be strong, what if i what if i - i could go back in time, will i meet you there?" beautiful guitar tone, layers, stylings similar to John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Falls into a fun reggae beat, and "Oh' gang vocals. Nice falsetto vocals at the ends of the choruses. We could listen to this track all day. Fades out with some trippy guitar delay.
Diamonds - "I'm an old man made of sand, you're a diamond on the palm of my hand". Bass and lead guitar dance around each other like flames in the wind. Epic ascending melodies compliment the vocals. Very catchy hook in the chorus, singing about helping someone get past their own scars in the battlefield of life.
Brother - "It could raise all my anger i never claimed to be a father, I'm not scared if it overtakes me, i won't be scared to be a brother, to suffer, and be in this mind's slaughter". This song starts off soft and pretty and gets grittier as it develops. Theres a unique guitar tone on the solo halfway through, space-like and zippy. Harmonies and a tight bass and drum groove allow a lot of room for dynamics in the final verses.
I Am - "Dirty, beauty, I feel, so sick, concrete, needles, faded, reasons". Love the scratchy, growly lead vocals on the chorus. This is one of the more interesting arrangements on the album, infusing some of that Arabic instrumentation and percussion with the heavy hitting rock riffs. Something very unique to their sound is the ability to include these different instruments and lose no momentum.
Distorted Mind - "I'm in jail and I'm wasted, I am awake and speechless, I have a single vision of your distorted mind". Angry, intense, seeking vindication... just a few of the emotions emanating from "Distorted Mind", as the lyrics describe a person with a twisted view of the world. Their perception being less than focused, and dealing with bubbling frustration. Heavy guitars, and big drum snare fills, another explosive track from Lazywall.
Dragonfly - "I swear I'll take good care of you, you carry me while I'll smile for you, please save the world with open eyes, remember me as a dragonfly". The song begins with a pretty piano accompaniment, with really cool bass fills dropping in here and there. The backing vocals in the choruses are hypnotic and angelic. What sounds like a supercharged synthesizer solo really knocks this song out of the park! The backing vocals climb back in with organ-like guitar tones, as the last chorus bursts with melody and brings the song to a close with the original piano part.
Plagueman - "Show me a reason, show me a reason to live". This song has one of the best dynamic rhythm shifts, seamlessly going from a straight rock beat into a sweet disco/funk beat. The heavy guitar riff breakdown is electrified with an hard rocking sweeping guitar solo, while the bass and drums push the tempo, giving the listener the feeling of being in a fast car on the freeway at night headed into the city.
Nothingness - "Time and time again, I fall in nothingness, says after days, I fake this lonely, face to face myself, I wait to heal this, time and time again, I fall in nothing, this nothing, in nothingness". An homage to sadness, and feeling like absolute nothingness. Fighting with inner demons, and mistakes from the past, along with trying to change people's negative perceptions. The song builds and crashes like a boat on a stormy sea. The sign of a great band is being able to tap into the emotion of a song, and transfer that emotion into instruments. Lazywall does just that.
Come What May - "I won't cry for yesterday, I'll stand on my own two feet again, hold come what may". Snare and phased guitar create exciting tension in the verses, as the rhythm section picks up speed into the hook. A song about accepting whatever the future may hold, and not looking back with regret. Strong backing vocals, and intricate guitar and bass lines build a really nice platform for the lyrics to shine.
Executed - "All of my life, all that I tried to do was to understand all the sounds in your craziness, this laziness, I found the things that make sense". Dark warm guitars chug along, as bass and distorted lead guitar weave in and out of the mix around vocals. The bridge has a monster guitar solo, incredible talent and finger-work. This song rocks through and through.
Away - "No more lions chasing me, no more dragons to carry me, there's no more pages in this old book, now the pain is gone, away away, its gone away". Rolling guitar and percussion, harmonized guitars. Melodic vocals over arpeggiated guitar and warm bass. Crunch guitar comes in the second verse. A song rejoicing that the pain of the past, and fear has finally faded away. Catchy gang vocals driving the emotion home. An upbeat tune to leave you wanting more as this stellar album comes to a close.
Overall, "The Hundredth Monkey" is a rock solid release from Lazy Wall. Two albums worth of songs jam packed into one amazing album. As a band, the trio of Monz, Nao and Youssef create an enormous sound, with unique instrumentation, and impressive musical chops, there are endless possibilities for their music and their talent to exceed new heights. Some of our favorites off the record were "The Perfume", "Invincible", and "Time Girl". Feel free to comment yours below!