the lava province | strangeway

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United States - California

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Pop: California Pop Pop: 70's Pop Moods: Type: Vocal
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by the lava province

“Gripping debut album from The Lava Province that really sneaks up on you. Extremely Highly Recommended" Bruce Brodeen , NotLame Records
Genre: Pop: California Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. strangeway
4:38 $0.99
2. the sign
4:08 $0.99
3. back here again
3:23 $0.99
4. let it go on
3:44 $0.99
5. come to me
3:43 $0.99
6. can't keep me away
3:15 $0.99
7. better off at home
4:14 $0.99
8. never learned
3:48 $0.99
9. california dream
3:53 $0.99
10. april and october
4:48 $0.99
11. an average man
4:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"The Lava Province's debut Strangeway has been compared to many things – Warren Zevon, R.E.M., classic rock, and basically every band or artist with that kind of sound since 1970. Well, I'm gonna throw two more artists into the mix. For me, Laurens Vernot (or The Lava Province as he goes by these days) sounds like a cross between the Matthew Good Band and Matthew Sweet. He's got all the dystopian views of Matthew Good, but set to the catchy, hook-laden stuff that bled from Matthew Sweet's veins in the early 90s.
The title track sounds very similar to Matthew Good's 'Hello Time Bomb', and in my eyes, that's definitely not a bad comparison. The chorus has the negative vibes I referred to earlier, and all the paranoia you could ask for "I gotta get out of this town / They're looking at me in a strange way". This track lets you know immediately what the rest of the album is going to be like: downtrodden, end-of-the-world, oh isn't it all crap really lyrics, with a classic rock feel. And since we all love a bit of classic rock now and then, what's wrong with that? (Go on, admit it, you have the best of Creedence Clearwater Revival on right now, don't you?)

'Back Here Again' is the most radio-friendly of the songs here (read: why I compared The Lava Province to Matthew Sweet). It's even got all the "wooo"s in the chorus, see what I mean? 'Come to Me' has a similar sing-along feel, with a neat, bouncy chorus. 'Better off at Home' is a jaunty song, almost like a sea shanty, or a pirate song - perfect for that midday drive on a Sunday. 'Let It Go On' was given a good review by Terri in Track-Fu before, and if that's not recommendation enough for anyone, I don't know what is...

'April & October' is a sweet little ballad (see what I did there: "sweet" as in Matthew Sweet – aren't I clever?) 'An Average Man' sounds a lot like Ben Folds 'Not The Same', and when I say "a lot", I mean I think they could almost be the same song. But don't call me up to give evidence in court, I'm not available Monday-Sunday. Ever.

'Can't Keep Away' is a really old-school rock song, complete with self-depreciating lyrics "What could she want with me / I'm a champion zero". It does grate a bit toward the end though – how many times can one man sing the line "And you just can't keep, can't keep me away"? 'California Dream' doesn't have anything to add to the music scene – okay classic rock is good, but try and make it interesting, you pulled it off most everywhere else Laurens.

Tracks to Hear: 'Come to Me', 'Back Here Again', 'Strangeway', 'Let It Go On'


I love it when I get sent albums like this: albums from artists I have never heard of, that turn out to be excellent. It's this kind of thing which makes it all worthwhile. And for that I have to give thanks to Dan, and some guy called Laurens too, I suppose." February 2007

"Writing, singing, and playing all instruments except the drums, SoCal's Laurens Vernot proves to be multi-talented on his debut. This is an excellent effort featuring acoustic-driven music with just the right amount of electric energy. With roots in classic rock but a strong modern alt feel, there is a comfortable vibe and distinct edginess. His varied guitar personalities, and smooth, fervent vocal presentation delectably flavor the songs."..:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Mark Waterbury – Music Morsels, January 2007

"Gripping debut album from The Lava Province that really sneaks up on you. First listen, it comes across as a bit laid back but second and third listens reveals not only lots of special aural levels, sinewy melodic builds, unusual melodies, but a powerful pop punch. They sound not like any particular parade of pop bands, but at different times, you`ll hear echoes, pleasant ones, of Squeeze, The Posies ("Back Here Again" best example of this), Superdrag, The Well Wishers and a bit of the poppy side of Sugar. This one started out as being "very" on the recommended scales has pushed into the "Extremely Highly Recommended" podium in a most unique manner. "

Bruce Brodeen , NotLame Records October 25, 2006

"He has an early Marillion pop vibe meets Robert Pollard. The music has a cool hypnotic quality I can't really describe. This music also reminds me alot of Bob Mould's poppier stuff." September 27, 2006

"This is pop and rock with just the right serving of each facet filled in at just the right time. Everything seems to fit like a glove on this album." October 2, 2006

"A super catchy chorus tangles with three-part harmonies on "Can't Keep Me Away", the poppiest song on the disc. "The Sign" rolls along with a Superdrag meets Dinosaur Jr. vibe. This isn't necessarily Power Pop and Melodic Rock as we predominantly feature here, but some very interesting twists and turns with some sweet guitar work make this an entertaining listen." Featured Tracks: "Can't Keep Me Away", "The Sign" Featured Artist on October 15, 2006

"A gentle reminder of how much fun we had growing up listening to 70's album rock stations, "Strangeway" is the perfect anachronism that suggests that there are indeed a few artists out there who do "write 'em like they used to" and Laurens Vernot is comfortably perched atop that list." Jeff Penczak – October 23, 2006

Radio Play

Live 365 Stations Playing The Lava Province Week of 2/19/07

indie rock, progressive, experimental
FM 64k
A bit of everything.

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - come to me

My Room
prog/art rock, alternative, rock
CD 64k

An eclectic mix of Progressive, Alternative, and the unknown. Some things from my collection that probably don't get much commercial airplay. Some from CDs, some from LPs.

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - The Sign, Come To Me

The Shop
rock, classic rock, alternative
FM 64k
The Shop has Doors, Wet Brain, Zeppelin, Trapeze, RUN, Humble Pie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth. Album rock, up to date. Lock and load.

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Strangeway

alternative, pop, various
CD 64k

Music without limits - ALL INDIE

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Strangeway

Atomic Wedgie Radio
freeform, rock, indie pop
CD 64k

A quality blend of Rock, Pop, Funk, Punk, Hip Hop and more.
- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Strangeway

Surf City Sounds Plus
freeform, adult album alternative, experimental
CD 64k

The freeform soundscape turns to the new year with old, new or obscure audio faves of note plus adding themes from surf to New Orleans gumbo... We thank the Great Rubber Ducky for another year and renew our hope to do better in 2007...

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Strangeway

!~DEEPCUTS~Winter Blend
downtempo, adult album alternative, lounge
FM 32k Main-Genre..Just A Unique Eclectic Adult Alternative Chill-Out Mix -w/Acoustic~Indie|Moody|Folkish|Mild Rock|Funky|Jazzy|At-Work|Trip-Hop|Lounge|DJ Remixes/Lo-Fi/Vinyl_Rarities/AAA/ artists+OST+vocal New Age Lovin';-)
[Editor's pick]
- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Better Off At Home, Never Learned, Stangeway

Rock on !
rock, classic rock, rock&roll
CD 64k

Playing those groups/artists you love to hear - Beatles, Rolling Stones, Doors, Boston, Styx, Foreigner, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc. Also current & local rock groups, along with many surprises. Playlist updated weekly. Rock on !

- Playlist:
Lava Province - The Sign

Citizen Snob Radio
indie rock, indie pop, power pop
CD 64k

Because Music Matters

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Let It Go On

The Rock Doctor.
prog/art rock, psychedelic, electric blues
FM 56k

Hear Yesterday's Music Today! 60's & 70's rock - From mainstream to obscure artists right across the rock genres - Prog, Psychedelic, Blues, Folk, Garage, Hard, Jazz and Classic Rock.

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Better Off At Home

Power POP Jangle Radio!
power pop, indie pop, alternative
FM 32k

100% of Today's Best Power Pop and Grunge-Free Melodic Indie Alternative Rock in MP3Pro Stereo!
[Editor's pick]
- Playlist:
Lava Province - Back Here Again

Tess's Indie-Wave
new wave, classic alternative, indie rock
FM 32k

LIVE365 2005 AWARD WINNER: BEST STATION YOU'VE NEVER HEARD! Hear great melodic, rare, obscure, modern new wave, classic new wave, darkwave, synth-pop, dream-pop, shoegazer, ambient, indie, electro-clash, brit-pop, goth & trip-hop!

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Strangeway

freeform, indie pop, shuffle/random
AM 16k
2001 Live365 Blue Valentine contest winner. True freeform. A swell radio station. Stay in tune...

- Playlist:
The Lava Province - Let It Go On



to write a review

David Thrope

A catchy collection of tunes with great lyrics and pop sensibility
Prior to listening to strangeway, I was advised that I would be hearing echoes of Del Shannon. What I heard seems to be rooted in the like of Gene Clark, REM and others. The fact is that all of songs have a unique and catchy sound and highly crafted lyrics. On my tenth listen to the CD, I was already hooked many times over.