Disappears - Lux [2010 / V0 / 50 Mb]
|Imagine what you’d end up with if Ride and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club formed a gang, drove a blacked-out-windowed van up to the queue for 'Stars in Their Eyes' and kidnapped "Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be Mark E. Smith" and "Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be Kevin Shields". Picture that? Good - you’re getting close to what Disappears sound like.|
Disappears are pretty easy to describe. First, they heart pedals. The guitar sound is all reverb, delay, distortion and repetition. This is space rock/shoegaze (Space Gaze? Shoe Rock?) but, make no mistake, it's also proper rock, of the type that gets people moving. Dancing like you're completely invisible, for preference, but nodding your head and tapping your foot despite yourself will do if you're one of those ultra-hip London types.
They have a real energy and I can’t help thinking of them as a live band, of the ilk that would do well in a massive room or festival; a venue where the entire floorspace is taken up by the pedal board would simply not do for these guys. Title track "Lux", in particular, sounds like it’s probably immense fun to play and I’d guess at it being the climax (/encore) of a live set – with its repetitive guitar riff that sounds like it was written for the sole purpose of being cranked louder and louder and louder and then having the arse completely ripped out of it with all the pedal noodlery its possible to throw at noise.
There are a couple of slight variations on the theme - "Not Nothing", with its almost 60's pop-style rhythm going on under some of that effects-heavy guitar, and a fantastic aural-attack sonic freakout in the middle eight, is probably one that would be a little more mainstream/radio friendly than some of the others, but without losing any of that energy and rock credential.
Another surprise is "Little Ghost", as it's the only track on which the vocals are sung rather than spoken. And when I say sung, I mean almost a Gregorian chant. Still retaining the band's love of repetition of a fairly simple melody but it sounds great: dark and threatening, in a way that even the barked vocals in double-paced "New Cross" doesn't quite manage.
"Gone Completely" might just have you dreaming up a sludge-rocking, Stooges-loving version of fellow Kranky-ites Deerhunter, but then 'Lux' goes on to provoke a number of comparisons: there's the Motorhead-goes-shoegaze steady-chugging riffage of "Pearly Gates", while "Marigold" evokes images of Mark E. Smith fronting Spacemen 3. In fact, it's messrs Pierce and Kember to whom Disappears probably owe the biggest debt, and on 'Lux' the band go someway toward refining the art of druggy, motorik rock music for 21st century ears.
Final surprise? That they're from Chicago. I'd have had money on Manchester. And I mean that in a purely complimentary way. If you like shoegaze and rock, get this album. Better yet, try and see them live – that's what listening to this has made me want to do.
01. Gone Completely
03. Pearly Gates
05. Not Nothing
07. Old Friend
08. Little Ghost
09. New Cross
10. No Other