From Indian Lakes, the brainchild of Joey Vannucchi, is certainly one of the more interesting and diverse indie rock acts of our time. Emerging as a promising act to watch on 2009’s As Cities Burn-influenced The Man With Wooden Legs, From Indian Lakes have evolved into a truly special entity on 2016’s Everything Feels Better Now.
Everything in between is just as good, as the evolution of From Indian Lakes is like few bands before or since. While realistically any of their 4 records thus far could be considered their best, we’re going to take a look at 2012’s breakout album Able Bodies. To be direct – there was no sophomore slump here at all.
The 2nd album from the band to be released independently, Able Bodies proves engaging from the very start, as opener “Anything” shimmers with a haunting, dark soundscape that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. Vocalist Joey Vannucchi shows an obvious maturity from The Man With Wooden Legs, growing both as a vocalist and a lyricist. This is especially on emotionally-wraught yet satisfying tracks like the stripped-back “Your Son” and album closer, “‘Till I Can Walk”.
Able Bodies works best as an entire body of work (like most great albums do), but if you want highlights, there are plenty. “Breaking My Bones” certainly has to be up there, as it’s probably the most aggressive and frantic song on the record, but it segues perfectly into the more sublime “I Don’t Know You”, which is tranquil by comparison. Other songs like the previously mentioned “Your Son” and “Anything” serve as great introductions to From Indian Lakes, as they serve as accessible, yet well-crafted tracks.
It has to be mentioned that the production here is fantastic. Every instrument, especially the vocals and guitars, sounds pristine – but not overdone. It also ensures that the album warrants more than just one or two listens, as there’s subtle (and less-so) hints about where From Indian Lakes would head on their next two record.
With 4 full-lengths under From Indian Lakes’ belt, it’s especially hard to determine which of their records is the best. Whatever your answer might be, it’s clear that Able Bodies deserves to be talked about as one of the best indie rock records of this decade. For the uninitiated, there’s plenty to be captivated by – and even longtime FIL fans will keep coming back to the well.