Well, there’s shoegaze and then there’s shoegaze. There’s music for wasting petrol in your crap seaside town on a Sunday night whilst dreaming of the big city, and there’s music for shutting out the sounds of buzzing florescent lighting on the last three hours of your crap job’s dead shift. And on the spectrum of slight dissatisfactions as expressed in music, Cuckoo Waltz is music to wander around the 24-hour Asda by.
What this album is not is music for the consistent among us. Notching up thirteen tracks in just under half an hour leaves plenty of room for mood swings, and Lush Purr volleys you from the blissful ignorance of Horses on Morphine to the grave determinism of (I Admit It) I’m a Gardener to the lugubrious lightness of I Bore with all the slightly concerning unpredictability of a charity shop blender.
It’s not an album for lyric lovers, either. There are words here, I’m sure of it – I may even have understood a few of them – but you can listen as many times as you like and still be left none the wiser about the majority of their meanings. Fortunately, it doesn’t decrease your enjoyment of a song like Suits one bit that you don’t know whether Gavin Will’s going on about sable or Sega or stained hearts or safe parks. The vocals here are just another instrument, no more or less important than the rest.
What this album is, is a swift shot of joyous shambolics and a fine fling not of careless rapture but of rapturous carelessness. For if there’s a point in music to be gently dissatisfied to, it’s not to increase that feeling but to mediate it; not to drown it in pure pop escapism but to understand it, acknowledge it and then sullenly ambush it with a combination of fuzz guitar, scratchy synths, inscrutable muttering and soaring, meandering vocalisations. All of this, Lush Purr provide.
In short, Cuckoo Waltz is the album begging to be bought on vinyl, left to gather dust in your parents’ basement for a couple of years, dug out on a rainy afternoon, played on the hi-fi whilst sat by it with your boombox, taped onto cassette over last week’s mix, and then walked down to the supermarket in the wee hours of the morning. Who knows – you might even find a two-for-one on deodorant while you’re there. Just the thing to cheer you up.
Cuckoo Waltz is released on Song, By Toad on 5th May 2017.
The lovely folks at Song, by Toad have also given us a copy of Lush Purr’s debut album, Cuckoo Waltz, to give away along with two tickets to any of their Scottish gigs. Please look at our Facebook page and Twitter profile for details.