Samoans – Laika

Samoans are a progressive rock band from Wales, having formed back in the valleys back in 2008. Laika is only their second full length release (surprising that they haven’t put more out in such a long period of time together as a band), showing the band moving on somewhat from 2014’s Rescue.

By Jane Howkins

There are some very impressive time signatures and sounds at play on Laika, with the band very much deserving the progressive moniker that has been placed upon them. They’re very good at what they do, and so anyone into this style of music should enjoy it, although it’s worth pointing out that it is quite a niche genre, and we don’t expect everyone to love this band.

It does get a bit Oceansize by numbers at times, and it’s clear that that band have been a great influence on Samoans, but we think they have enough individuality to move out of that band’s shadow. Genericisms do exist for the band, and there seems to be a repetition of a particular time signature and rhythm that seems to be really common in the progressive rock genre – odd really considering that the genre is called ‘progressive rock’, and you would expect that to be more expansive. Another, perhaps more surprising, influence we hear is Radiohead. Listen to the opening few minutes of Template For A New Identity and tell us that that doesn’t sound like a latter song from the famed band – vocalist Daniel Barnett certainly sounds like Thom Yorke at times!

Samoans are a talented bunch, playing a great version of the progressive rock genre. We recommend they change things up a bit, as they do get a bit repetitive at times and seem to be well and truly in Oceansize’s shadow, but other than that, we have no real criticisms.

Laika by Samoans is out now.