Lushes - Service Industry - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lushes - Service Industry

by D R Pautsch Rating:5 Release Date:2015-10-21

Winter is coming: dark nights, cold winds. Brooklyn two-piece Lushes release their cold and dark second album against that backdrop and offer little hope of relief in their minimalist approach and doom-laden, almost post-rock, approach.

Two-piece bands are in vogue again. Royal Blood, Wye Oak, Slaves and now Lushes are trying to fill the gap that The White Stripes left. With a two-piece there are no hiding places; some two-pieces just add in members for the recordings, others fill the gaps with noise and hope for the best. 

On their second album, Lushes go for the latter option on some tracks and on others go the experimental route. It’s a frustrating mix of soaring noise and experimentation that leaves you feeling quite unfilled after finishing listening. A prime example is the noodling, meandering start to Rub Your Eyes that just urges you to hit the skip button as it goes bonkers and finally gets the to the point after a slow start of acoustic guitar and eventually drums.  This is in direct contrast to the opening track Low Hanging Fruit which hounds and haunts the listener from the start and promises much that the other tracks don’t deliver.  Circus is almost a jazz dirge of a number that shambles into life and goes nowhere before ending in almost apologetic feedback.

Given the above you would think this would be a disaster of an album, but it isn’t.  The fleeting moments of hope that sound like a slowed down version of Pavement are encouraging and almost make you want to hunker down with the trio and get to know them better.  Bleach is a low key number that actually works.  It’s almost spoken word delivery over a gradually more grunge worthy guitar is a moment of light in a dark tunnel of dirge driven guitar monotony.

Ultimately Lushes just failed to lift their game over the restrictions of their two piece set up.  The listener is almost screaming into the speakers ‘Get to the bloody point’ on many of the numbers as the pay-off doesn’t match the set-up of numbers that take their time to stumble into existence over slow drums and guitar before leaving without making much impression.  Perhaps it’s the approaching winter nights but this is too cold an album to embrace and too slow an album to remember.

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