The Little Lord Street Band – ‘Time and Place’

The stirring sophomore album from Perth-based The Little Lord Street Band, Time and Place melds a twangy rock warmness with relatable themes of retrospection. “I guess it’s a ‘looking back’ album,” says frontman Jimmy Rogers. “It’s about when you get to that point in your life and you look back on what’s happened or what’s been going on. It’s that sort of longing for something that you can’t have back. It’s quite glass half empty, but at the same time, it’s about enjoying your memories.”

Opening track “Can’t Go Back” weaves warming guitar work with lyrical observations on “old wounds revealing.” An early morning rainfall setting accompanies a call for perseverance. “I still want you,” they clamor as a bright organ infuses seamlessly. “I know that you can’t come back.” Right away, the album stirs in its yearning for moments long gone, weaving a tapestry of nostalgia and introspection. The title track follows with a twangy enthrallment, emphasizing the power of memories. Natasha Shank’s vocals admit to losing their temper to “the slightest things,” and yearning for a time when things were easier and tumult was lesser.

The opening one-two punch delivers a palpably emotive depiction of desire for the past, and “High Beams” struts a more confident rockabilly nostalgia in its rainy-day traversals. Fit for a driving song, with hands on the wheel, the dual-vocal presence of Rogers and Shank make for a rousing excitement within the blaring organs and sliding guitar momentum. “The Mess” stays within the country-touched territory, though within an appealing vein of subdued folk; its depiction of an abuser who strives to spend time with his child illustrates the complex contradictions apparent in strained relationships.

“I thought I had it all worked out, but it turns out I knew nothing at all,” the past tense, past-minded introspection furthers on “Chasing A Shadow, Sold On A Song,” whose crisp rock arsenal stands as one of the album’s most directly infectious; its title-referencing hook is especially delectable. Shank’s vocals again prove riveting on the haunting desert-set country-folk flair of “It’s Just Us,” while “Burning All Night” pays tribute to Australian poetry in its call for steadfastness amidst bluesy rock rollicking.

Most of us wonder “what if?” while looking back, even if our current lives are quite alright. “He really should’ve been someone,” the vocals exude on “Could Have Been Someone,” where tales of a former athlete and high-flyer settles into dad life. “I Am Enough” is a fitting follow-up, heralding the “ordinary life,” as clouds roll in and references to rainy days continue. Still, the organs enter as one “holds their head up high,” and realizes they are indeed enough; it’s another powerful push for self-empowerment alongside the twangy folk and rock production.

Following the no-frills excitement of “Don’t Wait Too Long,” which enthusiastically blends country and surf-y rock soaring, “You’re Hurt” is a final self-reflection that sends off this memorable album from The Little Lord Street Band. Subdued acoustics and grave vocals admit “you’re hurt, and I hurt you,” — playing like an apology letter, and hoping for a renewed connection. The album plays beautifully in its collections of heartbreak, second-guessing, and the power of the past on one’s current perceptions of self.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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