Over successive releases there’ve been clues here and there that the Larkin Poe sisters duo ( Rebecca and Megan Lovell) have had a bit of a yearning to cast aside their acoustic beginnings and rock out somewhat. Their set of seasonal themed EPs back in 2011 were primarily acoustic but there were hints of Fleetwood Mac AOR in songs like Fall From The Trees. Thick As Thieves featured some rocking guitar and even a riff on Celebrate while our review of their album recorded with Thom Hell, The Sound Of The Ocean Soundremarked on their pursuit of what we thought was a bland stream of rock tailored for daytime radio.
Reviews of their recent July gigs remarked on a rockier approach and this is reflected here. Gone for the most part are the country tinged acoustic songs, instead the emphasis is on Megan’s bluesy lap steel playing amid a highly percussive beat with the sisters’ vocals tougher and more aggressive. The problem is that in the main the songs are dull and repetitive, rock fodder which fails to nourish. There are moments which succeed with the opening song Jailbreak kicking off like something from Tom Petty while the lap steel growls with menace. Stubborn Love floats aloft on sleek guitar lines and the sisters’ excellent harmonising as they briefly abandon their “rock chick” voices and they repeat this on the very fine Crown Of Fire which harks back to earlier recordings. Jesse has all the elements required to make it a live favourite, soaring guitar work and a murder ballad storyline but here the kinks, which would give it some authenticity, are ironed out.
Unfortunately these songs are surrounded by the workmanlike rifferrama of songs like Don’t and Sugar High while Elephant is simply embarrassing. It remains to be seen if they pursue this route or having got the rock fever (at least there are no cowbells) out of their system they return to a simpler approach.