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Album Review: Uniola by Look Mexico

Indie / emo rock act Look Mexico release their long awaited third album Uniola on 24th June via Tiny Engines. Uniola has the distinct sound of a band that have grown up and matured while managing to retain the essence of the band. It’s a sound that’s been affected by taking a step back from endless tour and getting married and having kids.

Most importantly, it’s a sound that makes Look Mexico excel. It feels natural, like a big comfy jumper, it’s a sound that suits the band and as such Uniola stands out as their best album. In some ways Look Mexico were a band that threatened to make an impression on previous releases but fell just short – a band that were previously on your radar but one you weren’t invested in. Uniola changes this with its blend of light mid-western emo and indie rock that suckers you in and makes you fall in love.

Apart from the overly long song titles it’s hard to find fault in anything Look Mexico do here. It is an album that works its way into your subconscious and roots itself as a firm favourite. It mightn’t be the most instantaneous but there’s something curious that makes you revisit the album repeatedly until it becomes your best friend. Sure, ‘Well, Kansas Ain’t What It Used To Be’ is the big punchy immediate track of the album, it does the job of lead single perfectly – making you stand up and take notice – the rest of the album is just a bit more of a slow burner.

‘I Even Got This Scar To Match’ comes in towards the jangly indie side of things, playing the part of idyllic rock while the drive and riff of ‘We Are Groot’ slowly yet surely become one of your favourite tracks. However, it is on tracks like ‘Next Time, Send A Limo’ (which separates the two previous tracks) that you feel Look Mexico really excel. It turns from accomplished emo into a sprawling and expansive track, with some brilliantly hypnotic dynamics.

‘My Superman Seat-Grab Barrel Roll? I’m Still Working On It’ is the standout track of Uniola. Imagine blending Prawn with recent Pianos Become The Teeth, there’s something refined and commanding at the heart of the sound that captures your attention and makes a strong emotional bond. The strained vocal adds a wrought emotion that complements the expansive emo guitars and spoken word element. ‘I Was Raised With A Different Kind Of Loyalty, You Know What I Mean. I Vote No. (Remember The Second You Go Through That Door, Everything Changes. Our Old Life Is Done)’ not only shines in the amount of words it fits into its title but also pushes the blend of expansive emo with infectious indie riffs. The serene and gut wrenchingly frail album closer ‘That Was The Flame Thrower. Use The Rockets’ conjures a kind of magic that Foxing produced on Dealer and it’s every bit as excellent.

On the first couple of listens Uniola mightn’t’ strike you as being anything special, stick with it and it’ll become one of your favourite albums of 2016. This is the sound of a band delivering on what they’ve always threatened to do; this is a band that have come of age. This is essential

AD Rating 8/10

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