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Album Review

By now, you pretty much know what to expect from Bowery Electric — great head music filled with dashes of Mo' Wax-informed beats, breathy vocals, and atmospheric flourishes. Those three characteristics are a dime a dozen by now, but somehow BE manages to pull it off without sounding like the umpteenth Portishead knock-off. The duo breathes life into the dead and bloated goat of trip-hop by shedding their own tendency to space out in favor of concentrating more on the pulsing low end. Lawrence Chandler's beats, though highly clichéd at points, land harder than before, and Martha Schwendener's vocals are more prominent. It's their most song-based outing to date, and as a result, it's also their most accessible. At times ("Freedom Fighter,") they even sound assaultive! Yet another Bowery release that feels as comfortable as fresh sheets on the bed, Lushlife lends itself more to head-nodding than nodding off. If it seems too much like a tired, well-trodden road, just pretend the record came out in '95.


Formed: 1992 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Manhattan-based drone-rock duo Bowery Electric comprised vocalist/guitarist Lawrence Chandler, a former protégé of minimalist composer LaMonte Young, and vocalist/bassist Martha Schwendener. Originally a three-piece rounded out by a series of drummers, Bowery Electric bowed in 1994 with a double 7" on their self-owned Hi-Fidelity Recordings which helped land them on the indie label Kranky, which issued their self-titled debut LP in 1995. With 1996's Beat, the duo's swirling, chaotic sound began to...
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Lushlife, Bowery Electric
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