Around the 1990CE mark, the cultural phenonema known as shoegazing burst onto the scene, a spearing attack led by the prongs of the likes of Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Chapterhouse and My Bloody Valentine. It was the premier scene in British indie music for a good one and a half/two years, existing in its own sonic sphere with it's own distinct otherworldly sound. But it didn't last, and the British music press turned on these bands in favour of more regressive, sexy Britpop which lacked the forward thinking of the shoegaze bands and kind of led to every single shoegaze band fizzling out at their own pace whilst people paid their actual real hard earned money to see Cast.
Nearing the present day, however, a large scale shoegaze revival is seeing the revival of lots of the old timers, as well as pockets full of new bands. Bar My Bloody Valentine's 2013 effort mbv (which was largely recorded in the 90's, then in 2008/9) though, all these reformed bands (Slowdive, Ride, etc) played glorious shows, but without putting out any new music...
2016CE now. Lush, in the wake of their reunion, are the first classic shoegaze band to unveil new material with Friday's Out of Control single, a pre-cursor to the Blind Spot EP, which is to be their first major release in 20 years. At risk of giving a crass analogy, Lush have done so little to change their sound up that you can't help but feel a bit like this could have been a leftover from the nineties. Ethereal strummed guitars, with controlled wailing reverb and sauntering drum parts. The track itself isn't exactly disarming either, it's very much just another very good Lush song to add to a fairly substantial collection of already existing underground gems.
If the truth be told, this song was at first disappointing, the first time I wrapped my ears round it's silky runtime; there really isn't anything spectacular or instant. Instead, however, the charm lies in the passion, the underlying love and the simply entrancing mood created by all the shimmering guitars and Miki's vocals - which haven't faded in glitz with age.
The song's subject matter is almost unspectacular; it's about as straightforward a love song as Lush - a band infamous for their lyrical twists and caustic tales of lost love. But maybe it's not so cut and dry - is this a song about platonic, or more likely family love as opposed to the romantic kind. "Out of control and I love you so much," Miki sings, sounding really ethereal to the point where all the synonyms of dreamy aren't enough.
Lush were incredible in the 1990s, and this track basically means that whatever they come up with next should be more than worth a listen. It's not extremely exciting, but it's a textbook example of the syrupy slow dream pop they rose to notoriety with all those years ago. They've got their first release, the Blind Spot EP, on its way soon and if this is anything to go by then it's so gonna be worth the wait....
(written by calum cashin)