Lipona - Urbi et Orbi (Cover Artwork)


Urbi et Orbi (2007)


When I was referred to a link to a file on a free download site I expected little more than mediocre, fast punk that I'd heard a million times before. However, I'd pleasantly been supplied a link to a free EP of one of the best things I've heard out of the USA in a long time. The problem with referring unsigned bands to bands people will know is that people will listen to the unsigned band listening for the similarity rather than judging the unsigned band's music. However, you really have to provide a comparison, or people wont listen; therefore, if you're expecting to hear one of the bands mentioned below, quit reading now and just go and listen to one of those band's latest albums and you'll get what you want because Lipona aren't here to recycle music like a lot of the other unsigned bands currently.

Lipona are a four-piece band from Tallahassee, Florida playing a cross between a less technical and ferocious A Wilhelm Scream and a less poppy Set Your Goals. Oh, and there's added touches of At the Drive-In, Ignite and Rise Against to complete the equation. Or you could say it's radio-friendly A Wilhelm Scream, though that makes it sound like it lacks balls, which it doesn't. The worst criticism I could come up with about Lipona's sound is that this isn't new, but it's the styles people love the most combined, which seems to be what practically every new band has been trying in recent years but failing miserably.

The lyrics throughout the EP portray some form of battle against power, a refusal to consent to convention and these guys put up great battle with melodies, speed, intensity, screams, group vocals... Compare the band to At the Drive-In, who certainly didn't consent to convention -- Lipona reflect them, particularly with the calmer vocals but stay in the arena of punk rock. Perhaps one of the great assets to this EP is the ground they manage to cover in five tracks without making it convoluted whatsoever.

The final track, "The Citadel" is the most impressive out of these five; everything in it seems to be perfect. The transition from verse to chorus is with a scream backed up by drums that never fail to impress, then to a massive chorus of group vocals backing an already unique lead vocalist who takes control. It's hard to separate one member of this band from the others because if one is taken away, the whole project falls apart; however, the drumming requires attention as it's so powerful it practically becomes omnipotent. Respect must be paid to the producer, too, with the production and sound being perfect.

Lipona provide the best message for unsigned bands today; however, with the fragile state of the music industry they mustn't get carried away with themselves. They've shown through these several tracks that any band can have a great sound and I want to use this to tell other unsigned bands to take the road Lipona have. No one is interested if you're trying to be like Set Your Goals because there already is a Set Your Goals, and you restrict yourself; if and when this fad ends, so will you. However, I wouldn't be surprised if a mediocre Paramore-esque group had a short time in the light, though that will be the work of agents and business men; the punk rock world isn't like that with it being extremely fickle and fragile, though Lipona should be incredibly proud of their achievement with this EP nonetheless.

You can download it for free here.