Limited on vinyl to 400 copies, the debut album by cinematic pop trio Lake Ruth comes hot on the heels of sold-out single 'The Inconsolable Jean Claude'. Singer Allison Brice has found herself compared to both Kate Bush and Sarah Cracknell, but the music lends itself more to 1960s psychedelia-cum-90s pop. Think Nancy Sinatra meets Broadcast.
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Latest in a long line of bands who sound A Bit Like Broadcast, Lake Ruth are a collaboration between a dude from the New Lines and a lady who was in 18th Day of May. There’s another person in there to make it a trio.
They perfectly recreate that sound you all love with wild drumming, vintage synths and dreamy vocals. What I’m finding harder to discover is actual brilliant songs, opener ‘The Greenfield Industrialist’ is rather style over substance and lacks the sort of hummable melody that will truly make it rose above the crowd. ‘The Only One Who Knows’ dashes along at breakneck speed driven by brisk drumming and a tangle of jangly 60’s guitars. Brilliantly played, this is a rush of 60’s psych adrenaline. ‘Helium’ is probably as Broadcast it is possible to get without actually being Broadcast, it has all those wandering slinky melodies that you might expect. I have to say the drummer in this band is fantastic, he’s all over that kit like a rash but (and bear with me on this) I sometimes wonder if the drumming is actually too good. It thumps all over the rather gentle compositions and on tracks like ‘Dr Snow and the Broad Street Pump’ (what?) the impression is of Keith Moon drumming along with Death and Vanilla.
I could do with a little more variation on the vocals too and something different than nine different variations of Trish Keenan might help. It sounds from these few misgivings that I really hate the record but I don’t. It’s fab, superbly produced psych pop that has nods to all the right people i.e. the United States of America, Silver Apples, Stereolab, the melodies are interesting and ‘One Night As I Lay On My Bed’ shows that they can produce lovely subtle folk music too (notably on this track the drummer has been asked to leave the room). Lake Ruth fall just short of making a classic record but there’s still plenty to enjoy.
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