Lucy Show – Remembrances

January 01, 1970

(Words On Music)


The Lucy Show won’t go down in history as innovators – the
British band’s gothic-tinged, atmospheric rock slots in comfortably alongside better-known
80s-era peers like the Comsat Angels, the Chameleons, the Psychedelic Furs and
the Sound, though with a more modest sweep. But blazing new trails was less the
point for singer/songwriters Rob Vandeven and Mark Bandola than it was
self-expression and craft – in other words, the Lucy Show may have been
borrowing its style, but it performed it really, really well.


Remembrances is a
treat for longtime fans of the band, as it collects singles, B-sides, demos and
unreleased tracks from the group’s decade or so of existence. Part of the joy
of this comp is that you can hear the band evolve over the course of a single
disk, going from a gloomy postpunk outfit with a blatant debt to the Cure
(“Leonardo Da Vinci,” “Kill the Beast”) to the more user-friendly janglepop act
it eventually became (“Only Moments Away”). Most of the material comes from the
Show’s early days, prior to its 1985 debut LP Undone, and relies on dramatic vocals, prominent basslines,
shimmering guitar dissonance and the synthesizers so many groups of the era
used to prop up demo tracks when the rhythm section was on break. Cuts like
“The Lady Lies There,” “Lap of the Gods” and “Prove It” show a band donning the
dour cloak of the times, but letting a determined air leak out of the edges –
no audio suicide notes here.


The collection ends with a pair of tracks cut during a 1993
session intended to revive the band. That didn’t happen, but the bittersweetness
of “Where It All Comes Down” and burst of rock energy in “She’s Going Down”
suggests it was a shame it didn’t. If you’re a connoisseur of this kind of
atmospheric British postpunk, you’ll lap up this up. But even if you’re a
casual fan, Remembrances – indeed,
anything the Lucy Show has done – is well worth hearing.


the Beast,” “Only Moments Away,” “She’s Going Down” MICHAEL TOLAND

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