Close Big Star associate Lesa Aldridge and Panther Burns drummer Ross Johnson team up for this little LP, part of The Great Pop Supplement’s series of one-off releases. They clatter through covers of The Velvet Underground and The Shadows Of Night, in delightful 60’s garage pop style. Coloured vinyl.
LP £9.99 GPS123
Limited coloured vinyl LP on The Great Pop Supplement. Edition of 500 copies.
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Lesa Aldridge was a Big Star compatriot who had a hand in some of the band’s best work -- including, it seems, the legendary ‘Third’ -- and also in some of Alex Chilton’s most questionable recordings (she provided assistance on ‘Like Flies on Sherbert’, a record it seems that time can’t quite redeem). While her role has been mostly congressional in Chilton’s bands, as a backing vocalist or collaborator, this new record sees her join forces with Panther Burns drummer Ross Johnson for a record of original material that reveals the songwriting persuasions of two people rarely considered in their own right.
If Velvet Underground dream pop exists, it’s on this album: the duo take twinkles and chimes in place that wouldn’t be out of place on that sleepy yawn “Sunday Morning” and cover them in blaring synths and languishing drumbeats, then encasing the whole thing in a production as claustrophobic as a glass cabinet. “Little Child”, the centrepiece of the record’s first side, stretches out for a hypnotic but wonderfully romantic piece that winds in around a lazy chord sequence and a stoical drumbeat. The three other pieces feel like vignettes Lou Reed and Nico would’ve hashed together to flesh things out; in fact, the first is a cover of “I’ll Be Your Mirror”, which quickly flows into the twang ambience of “Blue Moon”.
On the flip, the duo do more of the same, hero-worshiping another band you may know of called the Shadows of the Night with a slow-march rendition of “Dark Side”, before doing some synthed noir pop a la John Maus on “I’ve Had It”. Once again, it’s the Johnson-led pieces that seem to get fleshed out into full on jams, with “Are You Alone?” almost accidentally getting locked into a cheesy psych rhythm. He seems to know one drumbeat, but it makes for a fun record with the distinct, bizarre songwriting disciplines of two very different musicians.
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