London’s Landshapes follow their debut album Rambutan with a more confident outing Heyoon. Formerly Lulu & The Lampshades, they take an indefinable approach to pop-rock. It’s a little Joy Formidable but with a greater dynamic range. Out on limited edition red vinyl LP + CD and Digipak CD on Bella Union.
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 29 April 2015
They used to be known as Lulu and the Lampshades but let me explain what happened next. They completely got rid of the ‘Lulu and the...’. That’s gone, you can forget all about it. Then they changed an ‘n’ to an ‘m’ and the ‘d’ to a ‘p’ and they were away. Now signed to Bella Union they picked up lots of effects pedals along the way and now make the kind of swirling dark gothy rock that seems to have been quite in vogue in recent years.
As with everything on Bella Union it’s sandpapered down so you won’t get any harsh edges if that’s what you are looking for. It’s glossy, well produced scrubbed up indie with structures that seem to wander without a real sense of purpose. Take opener ‘Stay’ which starts in blitzkrieg fashion before disappearing off to a limp damp squib (sort of a little like all of my relationships). It’s decent enough at times though sounding not unlike Savages collaborating with Interpol in an ‘80’s goth club. ‘Francois’ has duelling high pitched vocals and lashings of treated moody guitars.
It could be the smooth production but there’s just something very ‘90’s about the whole thing - they sound like the kind of band Stephen Stelfox might have signed in ‘Kill Your Friends’ - a bit of Echobelly here, a bit of Lush there, a bit of a crowd down the Dublin Castle. But if I’d been sat in the room listening to the demo with a Kit Kat in my hand, I wouldn’t have snapped it.
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