Norco Lapalco, Norco Lapalco (Independent)

Norco Lapalco, Norco Lapalco, album cover

Back in the day audiences and listeners were enthralled and informed by the caustic lyrical and guitar stylings of one Mr. Lou Thevenot, with his commentary on the unique and mindless aspects of life in the seven parish area as the bands Lump and Black Problem lurched and stomped behind him. Since then there’s been very little until recent days, when his new outfit Norco Lapalco started to play out and provide another band to his singular approach. Now the group has a record, and it’s chock-full of loud, in-your-face music to accompany Thevenot’s ideas. The songs are abrasive at times with noisy passages that have a great metallic distortion in the way that Sonic Youth made famous. But they also have an angular structure that can change dynamics and tone without losing momentum, like the best work of the Minutemen. The songs feature both Thevenot and ball-of-energy vocalist Alba Houston, who can shred and coo with the best of them. Most of the tracks deal with the vagaries and truths of life in New Orleans and its surrounding towns. Some, like the takedown of the New Orleans Police on “One Shoe,” are sarcastic and self-righteous. Other tracks—like instant classics “You, Me, and Huey P.” and “Power Blvd.”—are laugh-out-loud funny amid the spiky, tight guitar and drums. With the music and message exhibited here, Norco Lapalco is not only a great addition to the local music scene, but a fantastic perspective for our civic dialogue.