When shoegaze legends Lush announced that, like Slowdive, Ride, and Swervedriver before them, they were getting back together, there was an added bonus: their reunion would be accompanied by an honest-to-goodness new release along with the requisite tour announcements and reissues. So how does Blind Spot stack up to their considerable and celebrated back catalog?
As I wrote concerning “Out of Control,” the EP’s first single, Lush essentially sound like they haven’t aged a day. The EP’s four songs don’t have quite the crispness or pack the same punch as classics like “Superblast!,” “Kiss Chase,” or “Hypocrite” (which, in all fairness, may be due to the EP’s sometimes muddy production). But they still do a fine job of spotlighting everything that was, and still is, good about Lush’s music — starting, of course, with Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson’s airy, glossy harmonies.
“Lost Boy” is Blind Spot’s most interesting, and emotional, song. A tribute to original drummer Chris Acland, who committed suicide in 1996, “Lost Boy” blends eerie guitar melodies with lyrics containing surprise, grief, and loss (e.g., “There’s a face I recognize/Seeing you again is such a lovely surprise/Beckoning me with your smile… I feel your fingers slipping out of my hand/Now I’ve lost you”). The song ends in a halting, discordant manner that feels quite appropriate given its subject matter.
“Lost Boy” is immediately followed by the EP’s most sprightly number, “Burnham Beeches.” The many vagaries of love and romance have long been Lush’s primary songwriting focus. Here, Berenyi and Anderson sing of romantic escapades in a giddy manner (with some “ba ba ba“s thrown in for good measure) while backed by cheery horn arrangements.
Blind Spot contains nothing all that revelatory or groundbreaking — but why would it need to? Lush’s sound was already so perfectly formed, so concise and inimitable, that it needs nothing added to it even after two decades. Sometimes, more of the same is just perfectly fine.