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Ladies Who Lunch ‘Landscapes and Personal Spaces’

Is there enough space in the pages of NME, or the sound waves of Zane Lowe’s gob, for alt-rockers Ladies Who Lunch to grab some of those coveted ‘The Next Oasis,’ ‘The Next Strokes,’ or ‘The Next Arctic Monkeys,’ hype-comments?

This London four piece – which actually began life as the solo project of frontman/guitarist Carlé Rocca a couple of years ago – effortlessly blend 90s American alternative music with 90s Britpop music. It’s all very 90s. Think the song structures of REM and Sonic Youth with the vocal style and melodies of Liam Gallagher and you’ll be pretty much on the money. And with the demise of Oasis, and Beady Eye’s failure to overcome the pressure on them to be ‘The Next Oasis,’ there actually is a high profile spot available for Ladies Who Lunch to launch themselves up to – so long as The Vaccines and Brother crumble under their hype.

The band’s debut ‘Landscapes and Personal Spaces’ demonstrates the strong songwriting shills of Rocca. It’ll take a couple of listens, but if you take the time to allow the initial blast of nostalgia to by, then the muscular layers of the indie guitars and the drawling vocals will suddenly sound quite fresh. Yes, Ladies Who Lunch maybe covering old ground with their alt-indie music, but unlike many of the current indie bands set on starting up one or another genre revival, this band just sound like they’re getting on with the music that suits them. No big game plan – just regular music fans.

Opener ‘Lucille’ and ‘Lifeless Lives’ come with a bit of a country twang, through the inspired use of a banjo, which adds an odd but delightful extra layer to the band’s moody alt-rock. The rest of the tracks are just your regular guitar rock tunes, and as strong as most of them are, it would’ve been interesting to see the band incorporating this country music element into the whole album. ‘Beneath Your Skin’ and ‘Devil At My Door’ are both solid, and showcase the enormous influence that REM have had on them. The brooding ‘Broken Glasshouse’ is one of the most well developed compositions, while ‘Head In The Sand’ sounds a bit lazy, and is borderline annoying. Songs like ‘Sudden Morning’ and ‘To The Side’ show that Ladies Who Lunch have a strong enough pop sensibility to have chart consideration, and just about justify the Oasis comparisons.

Two little gripes: the production quality isn’t fantastic, sounding a little flat, and the majority of the backing vocals are out of tune, which is just schoolboy. Other than that, ‘Landscapes and Personal Spaces’ is a brilliant debut – perhaps bettering The Vaccines’ debut (aided by the relative lack of hype) but not quite matching the debut of Mazes. We have been blessed with lots of ‘The Next [insert whoever and whatever]’s this year.

Originally published by AAA Music here

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~ by cliveparisrozario on May 30, 2011.

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