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The International Writers Magazine

Black Lake
Sophia Hardy

The underground/indie music scene is still thriving in the good ol’ US of A as I have recently learned from an almost all girl band called Black Lake. The northern west coast of the US has never lacked an abundance of music which was made quite apparent in the early nineties with the vertiginous rise of ‘grunge’and that stance of will-rock-regardless has held stead-fast.

The raw emotional pull of Black Lake takes me back to my teenage years without leaving me feeling duped by the teenage angst which has been gladly left behind, along with bad beer and bad boyfriends. The music is cathartic without being depressing and the stage presence of the band justifies loose ends.

Black Lake is born from such bands as: Delta Dart, Hook and the Daggers, Black Diamonds, Summer Lovin’, Natural Ass, and The Give; their influences read like a mix of my father’s vinyl collection and my little sister’s diary with everything from Elvis Costello, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, and Fleetwood Mac to Joan Jett and the Black Hearts, The Police, Elliot Smith, and No Doubt. Somehow these ladies have made an alchemic string of songs out of nothing more than past experience and present issues of identity. They have made every young girl’s dream come true in a way that Gwen Stefani can’t.

Amber’s vocals are strong and emotional; she has the ability to pull feeling from such depths that one can’t help but feel a visceral reaction to such songs as Nothing Helps. Erin’s vocals are a welcome embellishment to Amber’s and she handles the guitar like a veteran musician should; Nick (drums) and Trisha (bass) complete Black Lake.

Band names have always left me cold or hot; there are times when I hear a band and think to myself, ‘Why that name?’ and there are other times when it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. I like what Black Lake conjures; a possible allegory for the depths and sometimes darkness of one’s soul or character. Perhaps the band is simply paying homage to Black Lake, NY. Either way the band’s name evokes exactly what the music conveys, depth. They are more than ear and eye candy, they are brain candy, music at its most pure; unrefined, simple, real.

The importance of music scenes like the one that Black Lake is apart of can’t be overstated. Without music and bands of this kind we wouldn’t have much of what can be considered popular alternative music today, just look at what Nirvana did for music. It is the music of those who live on the edges of society that is often times cannibalized and made profitable by popular culture, something that bands like Black Lake don’t seem all that concerned with.

There is no doubt that the community, which has always been lacking in a place as large as Los Angeles, is prolific in places like Olympia Washington home to Black Lake. Olympia lends the kind of charm that can only be found in a place where bands like Black Lake can afford to pay the rent while being in a band, attending school, and working. Try accomplishing that in New York or LA and you would without a doubt be forced to turn to drugs.

If you happen to be in Olympia Washington February 16, you can catch Black Lake, along with Vertebrae by Vertebrae and Tyrannosaurus Sex, at Le Voyeur.
Sample Black Lake here

© sophia hardy Feb 7th 2007



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