Formed in 1987, disbanded in 1998, London England’s Lush are back with a new EP and playing select dates in the UK and US. They’ve recently released a retrospective LP and CD box set, Chorus, that collects the entirety of their studio output and now they’ve produced four new songs on this Blind Spot EP. Generally identified as part of the “shoegaze” scene (along with bands like Swervedriver, Slowdive, and Ride), Lush released three full-length albums, the first of which Spooky, was produced by the Cocteau Twins Robin Guthrie. Spooky was a broad, ethereal album that sounded a lot like the Cocteau Twins. That’s certainly not a bad thing and the album itself is widely revered among fans. However, their following two albums, Split and Lovelife, saw the band slowly moving toward more concise, lyrically and vocally direct, rock songs. For fans of the band, it was easy to see this as a natural progression in their sound. Which makes this Blind Spot EP all the more surprising.
On these four songs, Lush go back a bit to the sound of Spooky and the EP compilation Gala, and produce an extended play that seems to pick up where this era of the band left off. That said, the vocals here seem to retain their beautiful and sometimes haunting qualities of those prior releases, yet they also seem considerably stronger and more confident. Where for many listeners the lyrics on Spooky are difficult to decipher, the lyrics here are considerably more discernible. The vocals in general really stand out on this short set. Singer/guitarists Emma Anderson and Miki Berenyi truly sound better than ever. If you saw Lush on the 1992 Lollapalooza tour and mostly identify the band with their earlier albums, you’ll take to this EP quickly. If you’re a long time fan of the band, there’s much to admire here. None of these four songs have the pop sensibilities of some of the material on Split or Lovelife, but these songs do sound like a matured band who has refined and perfected their sound. Welcome back, Lush. We missed you.
– J. Kevin Lynch