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Spooky

Lush

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Album Review

For Lush's first proper full-length, the band opted to work again with Robin Guthrie. Though generally delightful, Spooky suffers from being bottlenecked into a dream-drift haze that isn't as convincing as the ones concocted by the likes of My Bloody Valentine and A.R. Kane. On paper the Guthrie/Lush collaboration seems like a match made in heaven; however, this lacks a punch and balance that begins to frustrate by the latter half. Whatever dynamics Lush appear to be capable of are rendered limp by Guthrie's sonic razing. Saving the record from being buried is a batch of quality songs. Despite its faults, it's more hit than miss. It's easy to criticize the lack of drive, but the drifting nature is rapturous in spots. Regardless, the draftiness is relied upon too often.

The three singles released from the LP ("Nothing Natural," "For Love," and "Superblast!") showcase the aggressive side, if only through a relative nature. As with much of the band's early material, guitars dart and veer all over hell's half acre — just as you hear a gentle strum in one ear, another guitar whisks by like an overhead jet, only to be grounded to a halt by a swollen jolt from some netherworld. If stripped of its myriad effects, "For Love" would sound like a top-rate Go-Betweens song, filled with lovely jangles and smart songwriting. Closer "Monochrome" is a melancholy ballad whose cousin is Catherine Wheel's "Black Metallic." Beneath all the swooning and swaying, it almost suckers you into missing the cheesy "dum-dum-dum" drum lead-in to the choruses, airlifted out of your least favorite Top 40 schlock ballad circa '86. Those devils!

Biography

Formed: October, 1988 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Meshing dreamy, feedback-drenched guitars with airy, catchy melodies, Lush were one of the most prominent shoegazing bands of the early '90s. Led by guitarists Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, the British band earned a cult following within the British and American undergrounds with its first EPs, yet the group never quite attained the critical respect given to its peers My Bloody Valentine and Ride. Even so, Lush lasted longer than any other of their contemporaries (with the exception of the Boo...
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