Dreams From The Factory Floor

Louise Distras

Pirates Press Records, 2015

http://www.louisedistras.co.uk

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/30/2015

Louise Distras is a youngster from across the pond who is being hailed as the punk rock offspring of Billy Bragg and Patti Smith. Though her inception into the world of punk rock was through her introduction to Nirvana, these days Distras draws comparisons to punk icons like Frank Turner or even Laura Jane Grace. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Though this first album from Distras made significant waves in punk rock circles worldwide in 2013, it's only now seeing a physical release – and naturally, it's on vinyl.

"Standing Strong Together" leads off with an anthemic energy of rebellion and autonomy as Distras confidently sings about unity, the working class, and breaking rules. This transitions nicely into a less visceral but equally entertaining "Bullets" where organs and more prominent acoustic guitars are present. Though it's clear from the first note that Distras most closely identifies herself with punk rock, by "Love Me The Way I Am,” there is some pop appeal in the soft keys and gentle singing. Of course, this song builds into an explosive anthem of self-empowerment, escalating into territory the FM dial wouldn't dare approach.

Even though Distras prefers her singing loud and throaty, her music can be calm as well. The campfire protest song "The Hand You Hold" is a perfect example of her ability to produce power with limited resources. This is followed with the prettiest song of the bunch, "Not In Your Name," and when I say pretty, I mean tuneful singing and gentle cooing that shifts abruptly into raspy yelping.

In addition to her seemingly bipolar vocal range, what also separates Distras from the legions of similar songwriters out there is her inclusion of harmonicas amid folk-inspired songs versus loud, full rock songs that could fill stadiums, as well as a spoken word/poetry piece. Clearly Distras is interested in communication before entertainment, but she does a damn good job of the latter anyway.

Rating: B+

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© 2015 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Pirates Press Records, and is used for informational purposes only.