Sounds borrowed from at least five different genres of dance and rock music are featured through “Lift,” Love and Rockets most recent release. Strong production and vision on the album turn what could be a noncommittal, noisy hodgepodge into a futuristic aural trip with the classic Love and Rockets musical underpinnings. Ambient noises relax the listener on the title track but then the pace quickly picks up. Dancey electronic beats welcome listeners into the futuristic fantasy world where many different techno rhythms drive through guitar tracks that wind through the album like streams of conciousness and synthesizers surprise, distract and add to the listener’s experience on each track.
The album manages to hold onto the haunting post-goth sound that has been Love and Rockets’ trademark since their break from Bauhaus in the 1980s. “Holy Fool” and “Delicious Ocean” both feature the Ash’s scary/sexy vocals combined with underworldly bass and horn sounds that conjure up images of being in a warm alien sex club. On “Delicious Ocean” lyrics alternate between lush whispers and robotic chants of “Where the hell is my hero, Where the hell is my heroin” all over a dismal but well-paced bass line.
Two other highlights on the album are “Bad For You” where sharp guitars and Bowie-esque vocals mix into a sped up dance track and “Resurrection Hex,” a stomping industrial dance track. Both songs have great remix potential.
Most of all “Lift” is an intense musical/emotional experience; none of the singles stand alone as well as they do with their companion tracks. “Too Much Choice” might feel overly pleasant and pleasant with dream pop, gently droning guitars (similar to the seminal shoegazers, Slowdive) and Daniel Ash’s relaxed vocals. But, when paired with the harsh drum n’ bass and shouted, mechanical-sounding vocals of “R.I.P. 20C.” a balance is created that sweeps listeners up and down emotionally.
Virtual Urth ratings: (SCALE 1-5)
–“Comebacks Are A Bitch…”
Good Music (65%-75%)
Buy it if you like: David Bowie, Syd Barrett, Peter Murphy