Remember Lush? Like many bands of the early 90s, Lush became kind of big and also a bit dwarfed by the explosion of the alternate music scene, which gave rise to countless new bands vying for a piece of the booming major-label pre-internet spotlight. Some bands got a bit overlooked in the process. Anyway. Lush produced some damn good music and a couple of really cool albums. This was their first (studio album). And throughout ’92 and ’93, my good friend and I ate it up in heaped spoonfuls right along with our daily dose of Nirvana and Sonic Youth and Mudhoney etc. Spooky somehow fit right in with our existing tastes, and it didn’t hurt that it sported two enigmatic front-women: Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson. Along with The Jesus and Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, the ‘shoegaze’ scene had a messy, sullied sound that was somehow more feminine than the muscular distorted guitars of America. It was the UK yin, to the US yang. It was smooth distortion, but not in the reductive clinical sense of the later pop-punk (Blink 182) sound, which was a tone I found one-dimensional. The shoegaze scene was still a nice wild sound that meshed with the vocals producing hypnotic hybrids that were dense and layered and roomy. Lush’s songs were large, solid blocks of travelling harmony. At faster tempos, their sound had an effect of propulsion. Slower tempos were a swirling ebb that could take you far away from shore like an unseen tidal rip. It was produced by Robin Guthrie (of Cocteau Twins) and he presented their sound well. It may sound a tad dated in stylistic terms, but it still manages to rise above a lot of the other bands that were making music at that time (surprisingly, I find grunge to be a genre that hasn’t aged as well as I would’ve thought – but give it time I guess, it’ll come around again). Lush released two more albums, Split (1994) and Lovelife (1996) and then disbanded after the tragic suicide of their drummer Chris Acland in 1996. So when I need my fix of melodic-pop wrapped in flowering flanger-pedals, I can always rely on the metallic buzz of Spooky. It’s lush.
~ DECOY SPOON