30 May 2016

Lush / Blind Spot (EP review)

It seems like Shoegaze is making a comeback. With the return of sonic giants such as Ride, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine in recent years, it’s hardly surprising that Lush have followed in the footsteps of their contemporaries. After the untimely passing of original drummer Chris Acland in 1996, a band reshuffle (in the form of the addition of ex-Elastica, Suede and Spitfire drummer Justin Welch) has taken place and were very glad to say they’re back. The highly anticipated EP Blind Spot has delivered with four glittering tracks that take us way back to the bands most active years prior to the allegedly Britpop-inspired album of 1996, Lovelife. We are met with a buffeting whirr of swinging open dream chords and melancholy arpeggios, accompanied by the gentle yet distinctive vocal melodies provided by co-frontwomen Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson.

Yet, what is surprising (and quite frankly brilliant) about the bands return is that it’s not just another naff and generic comeback fuelled by the need to relive the past (we’re still reeling over the fruitless return of The Stone Roses). Lush have managed to produce material that is still as relevant and refreshing as it was back in nineties, reinstating themselves as pillars of modern shoegaze.

Surprisingly, two particular tracks on the EP sounds somewhat familiar. The melancholy twang of the guitar and keys in Lost Boy and Rosebud make the tracks sound like the older siblings of Stray, a track off the 1992 album Spooky. Burnham Beeches is a bursting dream pop number, with Anderson’s sugary sweet harmonies floating above Berenyi’s vocal melody, effortlessly complementing the bouncing rhythm guitar. Yet it is the opening track which, in my opinion, is the highlight of the EP. Out of Control’s dreamily waltzing rhythm and majestic chorus phrasing, not too dissimilar to the Cocteau Twins' 1990 track Fotzepolitic, makes the long, anticipated wait for Lush’s return worthwhile. If you’re a fan of Lush, and haven’t given Blind Spot a listen, then I suggest you do. It’s as if they’ve never been away.

Words: Hannah Waterfield