Expelling a musical fart in the face of predictability is local singer-songwriter and one-man-band Law. While he hides behind the disguise of a 3-piece band (complete with fictitious bandmates “Cookie” and “Melo”), Law breeds his own signature blend of what we can only define as bedroom indie.
After downloading both of Law’s albums (free from his Myspace), it was apparent that this guy takes his music seriously. Not just throwing together a bunch of chords and some words, Law’s influences stretches as far as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Motown, Daft Punk and beyond, so pigeon holding the day-time audio engineer is as pointless as, well, holding pigeons.
His self-titled 2006 debut is more than an ample introduction to the former member of Nereku. Opening with a soft 1-2-3-4 count, one could easily mistake ‘Freudian Slip’ for a B-side from The Flaming Lips. The arrangement of rock instruments and synths are impressive even for a learned-man but it is Law’s melody-making skills that are his real talent.
Of course, a sense of humour always helps. ‘I Couldn’t Get It Up’ is probably the most honest attempt made by a guy musically to tell a girl that a) “I really like you” but b) “I just couldn’t get it up”. Brief and witty, like most of Law’s tracks, the song clocks in at less than 3 minutes.
In a sea of indie doomsters, it’s refreshing that Law chooses to avoid being overly emo. ‘Let’s Meet Up (And Have Some Fun)’ does just as the title suggests. Running piano lines and the song’s tap-licious beat recalls the eccentricity of genre-defying bands like Yo La Tengo and Broken Social Scene. But Law does have a softer side presented in an unconventional way, like on ‘Broken Record Heart’ with its sad disco-robo vocals.
Law’s 2008 follow up effort, Timezones, boasts a more polished production. Starting with the chilled out electronica of ‘Loneliness Has Got A Hold On Me’, Timezones soon turns Brit indie with ‘Law Under A Tree’. Standout track ‘Stopgap’ takes the sweet vibe of Motown and mixes it with a heavy Blue Album-Weezer chorus. The lushful ‘Coriander Y’ is prime example of Law’s heavy guitars and euphoric synths balancing act, while heart-tugging ‘January Showers’ is the first song we’ve heard since Eminem’s ‘Without Me’ that puts a skipping-record effect to full use.
Not quite the Zee Avi or Hujan success story yet, Law is on the rise after being nominated Most Promising Act in 2009’s Junksounds Awards 2009. “Most Promising Act is a funny category though. It’s not actually an award for good music. It’s more like the You Might Be Good award,” notes the down-to-earth musician. Add modesty to his overall qualities and you’ve got one Law that everyone should follow.
Listen and download Law’s music at www.myspace.com/lawsofmusic.
Image Wong Kok Seng