I think it’s fair to say that in the United Kingdom, we don’t very often get the opportunity to hear new music from mainland Europe countries such as Italy. In fact, I can’t think of any new ‘popular’ music I’ve heard from Italy since Eiffel 65 released their classic number one chart hit ‘Blue (Da Ba Dee)’. Oh how the UK charts reflect our great taste in music over here… So as I read the info that came along with this new Lush Rimbaud album, I was very intrigued by what this four piece electropunk band from the East coast of Italy were about to put me through. Any hint of Eiffel 65 and I’m switching it off.
Released as an LP and CD, this album is presented in a Side A-Side B format, something that will become very relevant shortly. Side A opens with ‘Sounds From A Vanishing Era’ which is immediately a very bass and drum driven song. The introduction is drawn out, tempting the listener with drum fills and synth bass lines before the drums kick in at a fast pace. The track builds up over the next three minutes as layers of guitars build the song into a sound reminiscent of Kasabian. When the vocals eventually come in I can’t quite decide if they ruin everything or not; they are out of tune, very whiney and the singers’ accent makes it very difficult to understand what he is saying. He sounds kind of like an Italian Shaun Ryder, only Shaun Ryder is slightly more tuneful (believe it or not). However even with the disappointment of the vocals, it is a strong start to the album and I’m excited about what might be coming next. Unfortunately this excitement is short lived as the rest of Side A is really just more of the same. It’s not bad, the ideas are good, but it is very repetitive and those vocals are really hard to listen to. The problem is that everything is the same pace, it’s all the same volume and there is absolutely no variety between songs whatsoever.
Onto Side B, with opening track ‘Sounds From A New Era’ we have a new, more electronic sound to Lush Rimbaud. Less guitars and more synthesisers, theramin style sounds and quite bizarre concepts. This side opens with British poet Jan Noble reading a translation of one of Errico Malatesta’s ‘freedom championing’ monologues. Then in comes the band, repeating the same four bar riff over and over and over. Jan Noble’s voice is irritating, the riff is irritating, and they both go on for nearly six minutes. By the end I had the song turned down as it was really getting to my ears, I was tempted to switch it off altogether but I managed to resist. Once again, the rest of Side B is very similar. Lots of synth sounds, lots of repetitive riffs. It makes for extremely hard listening, in fact by the end I really miss Side A.
So Lush Rimbaud are going for two different sounds on their album ‘The Sound of the Vanishing Era’ it seems. One that they consider to be vanishing, the other that they think is from a new era. The album as a whole is quite poor, but its saving grace is the first side or this ‘vanishing era’ as they like to call it. I really hope that they realise that the new era they are trying to create is nothing more than a fad, in fact it might not even be that. Now where did I put my Kasabian and Happy Mondays albums? 3/10