La Sera: Hour of the Dawn (Hardly Art) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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La Sera

Hour of the Dawn

Hardly Art

May 15, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Cult noise-pop act Vivian Girls might have broken up this past January, but fans of the expired Brooklyn band have plenty of spin-offs to sink their teeth into. One former drummer, Frankie Rose, released her third solo album last year; another, Ali Koehler, formed Upset with ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel; frontwoman Cassie Ramone is working on her own solo career—and now bassist Katy Goodman releases her third album as La Sera, Hour of the Dawn. It’s not quite Ty Segall-level prolificacy, but they’re certainly putting the hours in.

Hour of the Dawn picks up pretty much where its 2011 precursor Sees the Light left off, doing what Goodman and her former bandmates do best—poppy, surf-inflected punk rock that transposes ‘60s girl-group melodies and harmonies onto jangly guitars and power chords, the kind of thing you immediately feel like sticking on when the temperature starts rising after a long winter.

Opener “Losing to the Dark” gets Hour of the Dawn off to a raucous start with its juxtaposition of punk rock distortion and pretty vocal harmonies detailing a relationship turned sour. It’s a little heavier than what we’ve heard from Goodman before, but is ultimately a bit of an outlier on the record. Hour of the Dawn mostly sees her return to the bittersweet power pop of her first two releases, equal parts mournful and happy-go-lucky; ‘60s garage leanings mingle with nods to ‘80s New Wave acts such as Lloyd Cole, Blondie, and The Pretenders, particularly on janglier tracks “Fall In Place,” “Control,” and the fantastically-named “10 Headed Goat Wizard.” Hour of the Dawn may not be La Sera reinventing the wheel, or even pushing it anywhere new, but it’s a wonderfully likeable summer soundtrack with more depth than your average surf-pop release. (

Author rating: 7/10

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