Lush – “Out Of Control”

Lush - Photo Credit: Gabriel Green

Lush – Photo Credit: Gabriel Green

Lush was/is considered one of the originators of the guitar-driven ‘shoegaze’ genre, so-named by the UK music press in the early 1990s because many a guitarist was seen staring down at the FX pedals during performances. The term ‘shoegaze’ was a diss at the time, but it has since climbed ever upward in esteem. Shoegaze is now considered an admirable style to emulate and over the years a plethora of newbies have risen to try to take the place of bands like Lush, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride and Secret Shine.

There’s nothing like the original, however, and the aforementioned bands have returned to the fore with new material and/or tours – but for a long while Lush was the rare exception. Having broke up in the mid-’90s after the devastating death of drummer Chris Acland, until last year it looked like Lush would be left out of the ongoing shoegaze reunion. Over time, however, everything became aligned to the point where a reformation could take place. Founding members Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, along with bassist Phil King, have decided it’s now or never for coming back as Lush. They have enlisted the talents of Justin Welch (ex-Elastica) on drums and announced their return in the Fall of 2015.

Lush was never actually just a shoegaze band; having continued to change over the release of four main albums (Gala (a compilation of early EPs), Spooky, Split, and Lovelife), moving in general from a sharply punky or ephemeral sound to full-on dream-pop, and finally to catchy indie-pop. Lush’s first new tune “Out Of Control” premiered on Steve Lamacq’s show on BBC Radio 6 Music and also appeared in video form this past Friday. It’s one of four fresh original songs that comprise the Blind Spot EP, due around mid-April on the band’s own Edamame record label. (The other songs on EP are titled “Lost Boy”, “Burnham Beaches”, and “Rosebud”.)

“Out Of Control” shows the band in a dreamily pensive mood, with Miki singing in a soft tone that is both forlorn and hopeful amid chiming guitars rife with intriguing key changes as of yore, gentle drum beats and cymbal crash, and a floating synth line that increases in intensity toward the end of the song. The lyrics are dead-on and compelling, as usual, with Miki bittersweetly sighing “I feel like I’m falling / The future is calling / Out of control / ‘cause you’re in such a rush.”

“Out Of Control” may take its time, and the same can be said for the band’s return, but it makes a sonically spellbinding and lyrically insightful impact. Welcome back, Lush!

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  1. Nice, thoughtful review. This song reminds me a great deal of their “Spooky”-closer, Monochrome – a nice sweet-spot for playing their way back into the world. The fact that Lush have been missing from our lives all these years only makes their return sweeter. Congratulations to the band on making a beautiful record. Best wishes for an awesome 2016!