LESLIE PEREIRA & THE LAZY HEROES (Los Angeles, CA)
There's a moment at every LESLIE PEREIRA & THE LAZY HEROES show that almost defines the band. It's not even always during the same song, but the fans know it's coming and they wait for it. Leslie's just finished one of her trademark swooping vocal lines – crooning might be the proper word – almost literally sweetened by the harmonies of percussionist (and wife) Paula Vazquez. Suddenly she freezes, standing stock upright, hands off of her Telecaster, and she lets the rhythm section cook. That's a smart move: drummer Jeff Page and bassist Rob Lontok are LA aces and it's no wonder that session and top tier tribute bands keep them busy when they're not being Lazy Heroes for the love of it. Suddenly Page lets fly with a machine gun fill and Pereira starts pogoing as if her life depended on it while laying into the strings of her guitar... the sound that hits the audience is born of the noble stabbing single-coil angular lineage that leads from Link Wray to Gang of Four and on to Sleater-Kinney, but the melodies are coated with straight-up Buddy Holly sugar.
It's punk but it's gleeful. It's pop but it's visceral. It's rock and roll. Even when passionately bashing out the most anguished of their tunes, the band radiates the simple joy of performing, and chemistry to spare. That shouldn't be a surprise: Pereira, Vazquez and Page are all veterans of the late '90's LA power pop outfit It's Me Margaret. IMM never properly folded but rather evolved into The Lazy Heroes as a vehicle for Pereira's punk rock roots, but they've never been one-dimensional: the punk is in the approach. They jam econo, as their sonic forefathers the minutemen would have it, and that's evident on their debut album Fight For Now, produced with live-in-the-studio immediacy by the legendary Earle Mankey (The Three O'Clock, 20/20, Concrete Blonde, The Runaways and more). The intricate grooves of the title track and the aptly titled “Sweet Sweet Summer” shine through in all their unadorned glory. “Fly Like a Bird” and “Push It” do just what the titles say with soaring and punchy aplomb respectively, and in “Lucky Like You” the band has a set-closing anthem for the ages.
Big Stir Records is proud to release a limited edition reissue of Fight For Now in the course of welcoming The Lazy Heroes to our roster, while the band crafts a new collection of amazingly catchy and high energy tunes, this time with Karen Basset, of Pandoras fame and currently with The Kariannes and The Test Pressings, handling production duties. The connection between the Heroes and the label calls back to a happy coincidence of employment: drummer Page and BSR founders Christina Bulbenko and Rex Broome taught music together in the days when the latter pair were struggling to assemble bills for the early Big Stir concert series in Los Angeles. Page suggested that his “originals band”, his true musical passion project, might be a good fit. A last-minute cancellation saw the Lazy Heroes jump on a bill with scene mainstays Plasticsoul and visiting Australian power pop heroes The Stanleys and capture the hearts of the audience. They've been in regular rotation ever since, notably as a highlight of the series' November Gurls event alongside Anny Celsi, EZ Tiger and The Kariannes.
The “signing” of Leslie Pereira & the Lazy Heroes to BSR was as simple as the beginning of a sentence – “We're starting to work on some new song and we were wondering...” – that never got finished before Christina and Rex responded “Yes” in unison. They're now enjoying a deluge of the new LP&TLH material and looking forward to the next gig, and immensely proud to officially welcome the band to the family they helped to build.
Fight For Now
Leslie Pereira & The Lazy Heroes
The band's Earle Mankey-produced debut, reissued by Big Stir Records!
- Fly Like a Bird
- Sweet Summer
- Push It
- Fight for Now
- Just a Sign
- Lucky Like You
- Last June
- Diamonds in the Rough