by Will Phoenix

Royal Blue is Lasers Lasers Birmingham’s new EP. But first, for those not familiar with the act in question, Lasers Lasers Birmingham is the latest Los Angeles-based project by singer-songwriter, musician and former Vanish Valley sideman Alex Owen. Their second EP, this release contains four examples of his folk and country rock-influence signature sound.

Leading the way on acoustic guitar and vocals, he is backed by an assortment Of other artists including: John Schreffler Jr. (pedal steel and electric guitar), Seb Bailey (bass), Mikey G (drums), Dave “Mustang” Lang (keyboards), Jake Gideon (guitar and percussion) and Robert Bonilla (backing vocals). All four cuts are original Owen’s own songs. The disc opens on the titular track “Royal Blue”. To a new listener this will be an unexpected intro to an act with the EDM-like stage name because it has a definite laid-back, shuffling country feel to it.

The second selection is “Hard Man To Please” which is a rollicking, travelin’ tune. It’s a new country cut with a sense of humor injected via Owen’s honest lyrics. It’s followed by “Shedd Aquarium”.

“Shedd Aquarium” serves as yet another example of both his talents as a composer and as a storyteller. It’s a tale of debauchery told in a way that is reminiscent of 1970s country rock with a tinge of California influence as well. The closing cut is the somewhat slower-tempo “Anyway You Slice It” which is simple, sparse and yet effective folk story of an addict.

Overall, Royal Blue is a musical mix of present day storytelling, traditional country rock and folk and L.A. influence in a comparatively stripped down presentation. Finally, while the CD might be brief, the act is no doubt following that old show business axiom: “Always leave them wanting more.” So check out Lasers Lasers Birmingham’s Royal Blue because “Anyway You Slice It”, you just might like it.

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