Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Album Review: Lakota De Kai - Heavy Teeth

Album Rating: B
Sometimes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Take Midwestern post-hardcore/metal enthusiasts in Lakota De Kai, for example. Hailing from the small Midwestern city of Kent, Ohio, the four-piece heavy outfit take the southern wails and blues riffs from Every Time I Die and construct a new sound with the ferocity of The Chariot on their new EP, Heavy Teeth.
Heavy Teeth is relentlessly heavy and downright dirty. Vocals range from raspy screams to subtle speaking, bringing a diversity that bridges the genre gap a la La Dispute. Opener "Wookie Goldberg" is a classic hardcore track and a furious mess. The heaviest on the album, a good amount of talk-yell vocal delivery blends with crunching distortion that rings out as it ends. "Babe Ruthless" is another frantic beast, exemplifying punk-infused riffs, grating vocals, bumping bass lines and crushing drums. "Kid Comback" is another high point, as screamed vocals in the verses have an urgency that exceeds any others on the EP, while the vulnerable yelps of clean vocals are memorable and straight-up eccentric. The song breaks down into a emotional atmosphere, almost acoustic, with nuanced drums and guitar.

The six-minute long "Truth of Consequences" opens with a memorable baseline that might be incorrectly identified as a lift from Pearl Jam's hit "Jeremy." The progressive song features some post rock influence that blends well with the post-hardcore riffs as the song takes hold into an all-out chaos. The epic track closes out the EP, leaving a great impression of passion from the young band.

Despite the excellent musicianship, one fault of Heavy Teeth is its inconsistent nature. Though technical and slightly inspired by math rock, start-stops and guitars ring in and out as drums bounce from hardcore beats into jangly punk beats. "Honey Badger" is comparable to the bastard child of mathcore, screamo and hard rock that, despite holding attention, fails to flow at an A+ pace. "Find Your Deathstar" is also somewhat of a jumbled track. Featuring vocals from Maddie Finn, vocalist for local Cleveland natives Envoi, the introductory guest spot seems almost forced for the sake of including a friend on the record. Though the vocals bring an interesting dynamic to the intro, they don't fit and detract from what is otherwise the best song on the EP. The heavier blast-beat verse and soaring Keith Buckley-esque vocals are high points, while the tempo change into a slower, more dissonant interlude works into chopping guitars, excellent bass work and yelled vocals.

Also noticeable is the bass-heavy production on Heavy Teeth. Whether intentional or not, guitars are often drowned in the busiest points. The hum is almost too overpowering at times, though it shouldn't take away from the enjoyment of the release much.

If you like heavy music and are a fan of La Dispute, The Chariot, Every Time I Die or would like to know what a supergroup of the three would sound like, check of Lakota De Kai. The band is certainly doing well and have serious potential in Heavy Teeth, a strong release even if it is a bit disjointed at times. Pick up Heavy Teeth and keep an eye out for the band on tour, which is sure to be an amazing performance you won't want to miss. You can purchase the album on iTunes and stream it on Spotify. Be sure to check out the band on Facebook as well.


1. Wookie Goldberg
2. Kid Comeback
3. Honey Badger
4. Find Your Deathstar
5. Babe Ruthless
6. Truth or Consequences

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