Reviews Larry And His Flask All That We Know

Larry And His Flask

All That We Know

Larry and His Flask have been getting more and more attention over the past year and a half. They reached a new plateau this past Summer--making a big splash on the Vans Warped Tour, and being labeled as the band to see. Towards the end of the tour they released, All That We Know, which has come to be the “go-to” album when you're looking to just party and have fun. Larry and His Flask started as a punk-rock band, but they've become masterminds of their own bluegrass/folk-punk blended creation.

The album ranges from songs that have been written for years that appeared on previous albums to some fresh tunes fleshed out for the record. The opening track, “Land of the F(r)ee,” is one of the older tracks—written over 3 years ago. It's riddled with energy, magnificent banjo playing, a great solo, and feels much fuller than the 2008, Gutted, version. It serves as a great introduction to the album. It leads us into the equally melodious and fast-paced, “Flags and Concrete,” before a bit of a change of pace on, 'No Life”--a favorite of mine. It opens with a slower intro, but it turns into more of an uptempo number. The only way I can describe it is, it has great melodies fit for night time drives and often hints at darker tones.

We then hit a couple more reworked tracks from the Gutted album—“Beggars Will Ride” and “Manifest Destiny.” Both are vast improvements from their previous recordings. “Beggars Will Ride” is set at the pace it was meant to have, and “Manifest Destiny” has a new outro, which also serves as an interlude into the following track, “Blood Drunk,” that is one of the most pleasing pieces of musical composition I've heard this year. Andrew Carew's banjo work has been a real highlight of the album, but his leading piano on the outro cements him as a great musician. However, that's not all. He's got a great voice too! Carew gives Ian Cook a break and takes over vocal duties on “West Virginia Chocolate Drop”--a rollicking upbeat song with a twangy intro and fill.

The band decides to take a breather on “End of an Era.” It's a slow and moody number with beautiful cello harmonies to an already soothing melody. Larry and His Flask are back to their driving riffs on “Marked From the Start.” It has a bit of this “pirate song” feel mixed with a southern sound that makes it an interesting song, but it's one of the weaker tracks. That isn't saying much though. Still a good track--it just doesn't compare to a majority of All That We Know. The same could be said for the following “Our Will Be Done.” Fortunately, the band redeems themselves with one of the strongest and most fun tracks you'll hear this year, “Call It What You Will.” Carew steps back in to take over on lead vocals on this contemporary take an on “old-timey”/barbershop-quartet sound. It's filled with some of the best vocal harmonies, excellent horns, guitar licks, and the catchiest bridge on the record.

The sound carries over to one more re-recorded Gutted track--”I'll Be Gone.” It's short and sweet and you're bound to listen to it on repeat. Like the others, it's faster than the past recording. The harmonies aren't as tight, but the track doesn't really suffer from it at all. The record closes with the pure country song, “Slow It Down,” which lets the band, as well as the listener, relax after the past 43 gamboling minutes of twangy guitars and sing-a-longs.

Larry and the Flask have found a sound that works perfectly for them. All That We Know is an entertaining and fun album to listen to. There's not a dull moment on this record. They offer up something a little different on nearly every track and don't come off as gimicky as you might suspect. I haven't managed to check out their live show, but from what I understand, it's not a performance to miss and neither is this album.

8.8 / 10Aaron H
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8.8 / 10

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