Lusts - Illuminations - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lusts - Illuminations

by Jim Cunnar Rating:7 Release Date:2015-10-23

Everything that was once old becomes new again, or so the saying goes. Lusts' debut album, Illuminations, doesn't just hark back to the golden days of The Mighty Lemon Drops and The Ocean Blue, it time warps that 80s synth-pop sound forward to 2015 without apology. 

Lusts is Leicester brothers Andy and James Stone. MJ of Hookworms brings his growing pedigree of production skills to the table, deftly adding some much needed edge to the party. 

The finished product is 12 catchy but somewhat formulaic songs. 'The Chair' and 'Temptation' are early stand outs, with lots of distortion balancing out the 'singing from the church choir' vocal effect. These are two straight-up Echo & the Bunnymen tributes, with other new wave influences interspersed like House of Love and dare I say Flock of Seagulls.  

The strongest track is "Bad Weekend", a churning, rhythmic three-plus minutes of reverb laden guitars and a chorus of oooohs. "Don't Kiss Me" is a weak stab at being the next Pains of Being Pure At Heart, and  "Waves" is a song Dave Schelzel wrote 25 years ago ("Cerulean" by The Ocean Blue is an entire album of this sound). The albums closes nicely with "Mouthwash", which crashes ahead with some urgency into a 60 second pause before gently ending with soft electric guitar and a vocal fade of "I want to know just what's inside"...

Lusts has all kinds of potential which is muffled by what feels like insecurity, one based in paying homage to the bands which influence them. Despite MJ's handywork, the impact of a band's influences is holding them back. If they can learn to embrace their musical loves without choking out their own unique sound, who knows how good they could be. 


Comments (1)

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Ahh Jim, how could you use House of Love and Flock of Seagulls in the same sentence ? Seriously though, I'm curious about this one.

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