The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Lucust French, Lazer Beam is a kaleidoscopic representation of contemporary grunge. Incorporating influences from Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead, Ash and Nirvana, French can easily fit alongside any bands in the Seattle grunge scene. Yet, while he has the sound of a seasoned grunge act, Lazer Beam is a relatively new project formed in late-2019. Described as a “more pop-oriented version of Lucust’s other band, Burn Thee Insects”, French executes intimate lyricism with moving melodies. We want to introduce you to French with the single ‘Sno Burn’.
Hailing from Arizona, the US-based musician combines pounding drums with dynamic guitars pulling off a “head-banging, toe-tapping moshpit” effect. In accordance with the grunge style, French incorporates brash distorted guitar riffs building up to intimate, catchy choruses. While the crescendo should be uplifting, the rises and falls in ‘Sno Burn’ perpetuate the palpable intensity in this abrupt song. It’s about heaviness as you fall into a mire of overwhelmingly heavy (for lack of a better word) mire of despair.
Turbulent waters drift over your head as you partake in this swirl of gritty sound. Yet, while the melody has a roughness there is also a smooth flow to the brusque tune. Add French’s rough, throaty tones and you have a sonic representation of Seattle grunge. The thing is, there is a constant contradiction in styles and concepts as the insightful lyricism has joviality and optimism amidst the despairing sound. As French noted, ‘Sno Burn’ is “about having a great life and letting the little devil on your shoulder help you self-destruct and start from the bottom again”; however, we also need to wonder “why do we have the urge to destroy ourselves when successful?”
In addition to the single, French released an official music video for ‘Sno Burn’. Due to the flickering light effects, I was not able to view the whole video; however, I do have some idea of what was happening. Nodding to the old-school scene documentaries of the 1990s, like The Real World or Tony Hawk features, Lazer Beam’s music video adds an intimate visual element to the song. The reel of images takes a look at life from French’s perspective showing live performances and the emotion behind his music. Then again, that is just what I saw and it is open to interpretation.