Larusso aren’t afraid to hide their influences. Rather, they are the kind of band that shows through their music that they are proud to be a part of the rich legacy of modern hardcore.
Let’s get the comparisons out of the way; Anberlin, Brand New, Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday (spot the reference in the track ‘Set Phasers To Fun’), even Dashboard Confessional. Larusso have a firm grip on the emo, moderate hardcore sound, and their latest album Life In Static is the ideal introduction to what they are capable of as a band.
Opening with ‘Chase The Sun’, the drums and guitars are brutal from the start, with classic emo backing vocals and a strong lead. First single ‘The Voice’ takes all the classic emo tropes we know and love, starting with a delicate guitar arpeggio before using a vocal stutter to power into a soaring chorus that is drenched in typical hardcore harmonies.
‘Daniel With An L’ leans more towards a Dashboard Confessional sound, albeit slightly heavier, with a chorus that is almost impossible to sing along to or at least hum, while ‘The Recovery’ takes brittle guitars and turns them into a titanium skeleton for the pounding drums that hold the track together. There’s a real variety of tone across Life In Static – the guitars on ‘Collision Course’ open feeling like early Blink-182 before developing into a richer, more developed sound, while ‘Dear Pandora’ chugs away with a full tube amp warmth and cuts away at its mid point to allow room and reflection before flinging itself into a staccato dialogue between battering drums and military style vocal yells.
Closing with ‘Chemical’, Larusso show their ability to turn in a more acoustic led direction. There’s almost a Scottish tinge to the song, with hints of Snow Patrol, and a rich, warm strings section that makes for a delightful conclusion to an excitingly full and powerful album.