Laura are nothing more than a humble local Melbourne band who just so happen to produce world-class music, with their latest album being no exception. This may sound a little biased, but Laura, since their inception in early 2002, have not released any form of music that is nothing short of delight to the ears. After months and months of writing, recording, mixing and producing this album, among a significant lack of shows in the last year due to focusing entirely on the album, a fine piece of work titled Twelve Hundred Times was the produce we received.

The first few seconds of “Visitor” sets the albums atmosphere. The effect resembles a sort of background noise one would receive from a transmission. Pairing this with the song’s name, and the album’s concept of focusing on extraterrestrialism and the vast space surrounding us, seconds in you’ll have a pretty precise understanding on how this album is going to sound.

Compared to their previous work, Twelve Hundred Times is a lot mellower. The band relies more on background drones and synthesizing background noise rather than raw notes. There are also less climaxes in the album than the fans are used to, with the few main intensities being in songs such as “This Grey Earth” and “Glint”.

This album has such a mix of sounds that it could be enjoyed in all situations. It could easily accompany you at slumber just as much as it could accompany you while you’re listening to your iPod on the train home. With some songs going from completely eery to soothing in a heartbeat (“This Grey Earth”) this album has kept a pretty good balance of collisions and and calming sounds to keep your ears both alert and incognisant throughout the album – a true sign of great musicianship.

All in all, the ones who listen to this album are the ones who are going to decide for themselves what form this album really takes. Some may think it’s just a humble collection of songs and nothing more, but others might be able to see it as a complete concept album, telling a story from start to finish. No matter what one might get from the album, it’s clear that this release holds its own against their past work, and may even go as far as to surpass it.

–  Tom Gaffney

Check out Tom’s interview with Laura.