It has been nearly twenty years since Lush released any new material. But after releasing Blind Spot on Edemane (their own label), the English shoegaze masters are back in the spotlight with a short and sweet EP which should mark a new chapter for the group.
Out of Control gets the EP off to a flyer. The opening words – “Don’t cry darling”- crawl out in dreamy haze, almost child-like in delivery, setting the tone for a reserved and beautiful song. Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson interweave their voices in a song that looks at the heartache of love – two lovers separated and cold to the touch. Out of Control’s swaying and peaceful waltz-feel is followed by the haunting and dark, Lost Boy. Recalling the finest moments from Spooky (the band’s 1992 album) it is one of the EP’s highlights. Gripping, immersive and dramatic, it’s a song that ranks among the band’s most accomplished recordings.
Burnham Beeches is an upbeat, rousing number. It’s delirious and celebratory music – capped by the triumphant horn line comes in near the half-way mark – it is a song that will stay in the head for days. Rosebud brings Blind Spot to a close, a short and sweet comeback EP. The track is a skewed take on Sleeping Beauty; the lyrics coming to the fore far more than elsewhere on the album – “Goodnight my baby girl and dream of paradise / My thorns will cradle you with love” is amongst the more vivid.
It might seem churlish, but the brevity of Blind Spot is something of a sticking point. The four tracks on show are excellent, but it is just four (short) tracks, and after 20 years of wait it feels like it is over before it started. It may well just be greediness, but seeing as they are still able to make high-quality of music, it might have been nice to have a couple more tracks. In that vain, some of the songs themselves could handle expansion and experimentation – they are self-contained pop structures, which is fine, but something a little grittier wouldn’t have gone amiss.
That being said, with many of their 90s contemporaries long gone, Lush have returned with a stunning EP. It is clear the band have more to say; if anything, this is a tantalising foreword – the next chapter is about to be written. For those of us fearful Lush could never recapture what made them so enthralling: Blind Spot proves Lush haven’t lost their spark.