Marc Woolward writes in from England with a precisely calculated study of Pygmy Lush’s most recent album, “Old Friends.”
This isn’t the punk rock I expected. To be quite honest the production is pretty, well, um, lush :-). Lush layers of alt-Americana. This is a cd that makes sense as the winter draws in, as life gets a little sadder, melancholy gnawing your psyche as cold would your bones.
The opener, Yellow Hall, is instantly reminiscent of circa-Soup era Blind Melon. Chris Taylor as out of synch and hopeless as Shannon Hoon in his last days, the riffs of lo-fi desperation; “all I’d loved had gone to seed”.
This isn’t a pallet rendered in a single dimension, though. Dense soundscapes litter the lo-fi and there are moments of true beauty as the cd progresses through to I’ll wait with you, Admit, Old Friends, and the mind-blowingly gorgeous January song, a dense winter soundscape for the counter-culture. Tales of love, loss, and longing. Not overblown, just perfect. Elsewhere, Good Dirt is a simple ode to love and familiarity “our love still comes on strong, it’s found us some good dirt, to grow tall”.
I first listened to the tracks on Old Friends at random, that’s not the way to do it. This is a complete body or work by a band as at ease in the quiet moments, sketching a story and evoking the darkest emotions, as it is delivering a killer riff or hook. Appreciate this piece as a body of work, but definitely appreciate it.
PYGMY LUSH –OLD FRIENDS- TRACK LISTING
LP/CD and Cassette Tape
01. Yellow Hall
03. Good Dirt
04. In A Well
05. Night At The Johnstown Flood
06. I’ll Wait With You
07. Penny On My Deathbed
08. A Weird Glow
10. Old Friends
11. January Song
– Marc Woolward is a professional listener of music and member of the English surf kayak team.