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Album #328: Lush – Spooky

  • Released: 1992
  • Origin: London, England
  • Label: 4AD
  • Best Track: Superblast!

Like with the Boo Radleys, Lush are a band I’ve been introduced to in a lopsided way, just because of when I was born and the way the timeline of music unfolded around it.

I first remember them releasing songs like ‘Ladykillers’ and ‘500 (Shake Baby Shake) in 1996. These songs smacked of attitude and hedonism, and fell nicely into the Britpop vibe of the time. In truth though, Lush’s roots are more in the shoegazing and dream-pop scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, which is something I was too young for then but got into as an adult.

I think I’ve heard their “Britpop” album Lovelife, though I’m not certain. I definitely know and like Split which came before it in 1994, but have yet to discover their studio debut Spooky.

This is unquestionably a shoegaze album, with its airy vocals and shimmering guitars, and the regular use of the 3/4 time signature giving songs like ‘Monochrome’ a dreamy merry-go-round like effect. ‘For Love’ and ‘Untogether’ stand out, ‘Take’ offers some of the darker murkiness of contemporaries Curve, while ‘Superblast!’ picks up the tempo and goes off like a rocket.

If you’re not big on this kind of music, I can see how you might find Spooky a little vapid and repetitive, with the structure and vocals similar throughout. I like it, but I’d still say Split is their purple patch, and the meeting point of the two very different Lush sounds.

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