FROM: BOURNEMOUTH | FOR FANS OF: MILK TEETH, BOSTON MANOR |
WORDS: AMY ALBINSON
Sputnik 2, on a one-way flight into outer-space, carried a single passenger. A stray dog from the streets of Moscow was chosen to test a living body’s ability to survive, with no plan to bring her home. Taking inspiration, and ultimately her name, Bournemouth-based alt-rock quartet Laika deliver emo anthems in the vein of a flight into a desolate and futile future. Lead single, Dead End, from their upcoming EP ‘Going Nowhere’ tells a tale of entrapment and melancholy. “I was going through a dark spot and feeling stuck in a self-destructive cycle,” explains vocalist Sammy Lloyd. “I was struggling to leave my room except to go to college. Every day in that period had started to merge into one and that song was me trying to break that cycle and get something positive out of that bad situation”. It feels like this, though heavy, is an undertone that runs throughout their music, making the best of negative situations as they coast a fragile line between sadness and a sense of hope.
“I was going through a dark spot and feeling stuck in a self-destructive cycle,”
Since releasing their debut single, Been Here Before, in mid-2018 the band have moved from a more mainstream rock scene into the alternative, citing bands such as Milk Teeth and Boston Manor as major influences. Though they may be the new kids on the block they are fast finding their feet playing across the south-coast at well-respected venues such as Southampton’s The Joiners and Bournemouth’s The Anvil. The band first started as a bit of fun in school as a “shitty little pop-punk band,” guitarist Callum Gough jokes. “We were honestly terrible but from that, we started to play together constantly. We wrote some songs, some of which are on ‘Going Nowhere’, and got Louie along to play the bassy bits. He’s the one that rounded us out, getting us to where we are now”. Starting out as a new band they originally struggled to get to a stage where they were comfortable playing live. “we were worried that we wouldn’t fit into the scene or we wouldn’t be able to develop a fan base of any kind,” Callum admits, “but thankfully that didn’t happen”. It’s clear that within this local scene they have found a home. “Bournemouth’s local scene is great and growing, bands like Wolf Culture started in that scene and now look at them,” Callum continues, “it’s given us a chance to play shows with great friends and make new ones, as well as help us develop our sound into the sort of music that we want to make”.
“We were honestly terrible in the beginning…”
With their debut EP due out imminently Callum admits that the writing side was a very cathartic experience. “All the songs are like a little timeline of my life over the last years and the struggles of growing up,” he muses, “recording-wise it was both the most stressful but fun time we’ve ever had as a band”. His excitement and enthusiasm shows as he continues, “recording at The Ranch was an amazing opportunity especially as it was where some of my favourite bands have recorded some of my favourite records of all time. Like, Boston Manor’s ‘Be Nothing’ and Pretend Happy’s ‘Tired Eyes’. The Ranch also felt like a second home and recording with the amazing Dom Wright really helped us make these songs the best they can be. Somehow he didn’t kill any of us in the five days he had to spend with us”. Everything feels like a learning curve for the band but they seem ready to take it in their stride. “We really felt like those five days helped us grow musically and as a band. It also helped us find out which of us is the worst COD player,” he laughs. “It was Sammy”.
If within a couple of months of releasing their first single the band have shared stages with Bellevue Days and played venues that have seen the likes of Ed Sheeran there’s no doubt that 2019 is going to be a massive year for the young group.