| Emma Russack myspace |
Wollongong has had some great bands over the years – my favourite being Australia's premier stoner rock band The Proton Energy Pills, and out of their shell, the mighty Tumbleweed. But that was then, this is now. So we'll move forward to the late 00s and meet a young (aged 17-23) band with the cool name of Lola Flash.
Lola Flash formed in the middle of 2007. The band members are Emma Russack: guitar and vocals, Alec Marshall: guitar, Kate Delahunty: viola, Paul McLean: drums and Jake Phillips: bass. Their bio says they play 'dark spacious rock, drawing on elements of folk, blues and experimental styles'.
There's something very curious and compelling about their two song demo. 'Psycho' and 'What A Night' come in at five and six minutes respectively. These are no mere pop songs aimed for a quick fix. You need patience and some serious listening time to truly appreciate what Lola Flash have presented here. It's not just the haunting and mysterious lyrics (is she really singing about the Hitchcock movie? Does she say 'free' or 'freak'? What can her mother/father/sister see? Why is she a liar?) but the band have an assured control over the songs. It's hard to believe they are just starting out.
The lyrics of 'Psycho' conjure up a lonely nightmare that envelops you with its pure and simple beauty: "I'm in the shower/thinking of Psycho/thinking of Psycho/thinking of Psycho/Nobody's home, I'm all alone/Nobody's home, I'm all alone/Woah oh oh." The music starts off economically, bringing in the bass and then the drums after each new verse. The Lola Flash secret weapon – the deadly viola – plays a looped melody before turning sinister and blending in towards the end with what sounds like screaming. It's hard to tell what is going on but one thing is for sure: this is an incredible song.
And these are just the rough mixes! I can't wait to hear the finished product. Lola Flash. A band to definitely watch. They are doing something very special. -ND
update: Unfortunately, it looks like Lola Flash have split (end of 2008). Let's hope Emma keeps on making music - I'm sure she will, she is very talented.