When it’s from Greg Laswell one would expect another album about heartbreak or as Laswell euphemizes it ‘heartache.’ But Laswell asserts that the worry is when each of us stares down at heartbreak, we all do. We then desperately want to know that how many other people are just as miserable as we are.The crooner believes that misery doesn’t just need company, it needs a very specific sort of kinship and it needs someone who can articulate it profoundly, not just rhyme a few words about some inconsiderate jerk.
Rather than focusing on knowing the specific catalyst for Greg Laswell’s latest record, “Everyone Thinks I Dodged a Bullet,” one needs to focus anew on what makes him one of the most categorical and uncompromising songwriters of these modern times. You may recognize a bit of Leonard Cohen in his tormented baritone. You may be reminded of Tom Waits when you sense how deep down in the gut these songs arise from. If there is that one rare quality that stands out in Laswell’s writing, it is the ability to use words like unapologetic paper cuts. In case you happen to be at the receiving end, there are chances that at first you might feel the sting; but be ready as later it will burn you like hell later. One can imagine the coldness when one is made the subject of Laswell’s piercing vitriol when he says, "I'm gonna be lazy when I write about you.” Just imagine that you mean so much nothing to someone you once meant the world to.
So, how would you process the sting of, "What are you going to do when gravity gets to you?” After all meanness, is sometimes utterly justified and in Greg Laswell’s world, no punches are pulled for the sake of possible hurt feelings. If you are hurt just face it, deal with and try to move on instead of mulling over it. If you feel the same way Laswell does, the words feel like little or maybe huge triumphs. His pen is mighty and is aimed straight at the heart. Laswell’s songs urge you to join in pushing the point in deeper. Popmatters called his work, "Haunting, genuine and surprisingly uplifting.” Filter described his songs as "Punches to the gut.” And Blurt said of his music that it’s both "majestic and meditative.”
The show is on June 2, 2018 at Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90069
For details, visit: www.troubadour.com
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the performance.