Heart-Shaped Scar

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LP is a young post-suburban New York woman who grew up with a head full of rock dreams that she's been trying her entire life to fulfill. Enter Cracker's David Lowery. Lowery caught LP's former band tearing it up in a club in New York and invited them to tour with Cracker, finally brining her on board as a backing vocalist and then building a band around her to record this debut album. Lowery, who's everywhere on this thing, took on this project after finishing the Counting Crows' This Desert Life. LP's debut, Heart-Shaped Scar, is a roaring, snotty, bratty, bad-ass pop/rock record full of killer riffs, crunching guitars, and LP's voice, which is equal parts Maggie Bell, Pat Benatar, and Robert Plant ground like glass through a deep Rolling Stones, Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd, blues-rock, and biker sensibility. The set opens with "Perfect," a three-chord riff punched through the deck with a huge kick drum sound, balanced with LP's howling rain throat, singing some love and lust paean to a piece of sexy white trash. It gets followed with "Love Somebody," a forlorn "I'm leavin' you, babe" tune with huge, distorted guitars and no high end except for the vocal. It's all sludge though it's LP's version of a power ballad. The title track's got just enough of a hook to make it to the radio, even with its spit-in-your-face attitude, and would make a great music video number. "Follow Me Down" is the true kicker in the set with its crashing, weaving slide guitars, Led Zeppelin III production feel, and LP's soaring vocal. Her grit is two inches deep, her passion a mile wide, and her heat scalds. From "Kiss It All Goodbye" to the end is the more laid-back side of the record, with lots of acoustic guitars and mandolins. But with the drums Lowery sticks at the center of the mix and LP's completely rock & roll delivery, the tempos don't really matter, it's all rock. Heart-Shaped Scar is American rock & roll that's saturated with a soul that's rarely encountered anymore. The lyrics aren't awesome, but they're better than most. And besides, it's a debut; her voice is unique enough to carry her for an album or two -- if doing such a thing before maturing is something remotely possible in our culture. Recommended for those who remember how let it rock and miss it.

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