Starting out as the bedroom project of Chris Gunn, formerly of Portland scuzz-lords The Hunches, Lavender Flu’s second album sees Gunn’s vision expanded and more fully realised than ever before. ‘Mow the Glass’ showcases Gunn’s exceptional melodic sensibilities, as his new-formed quartet create a sound that combines the hypnagogic vibe of Ariel Pink with an ear for beautiful guitar melodies that very few people can boast.
Every track comes in at under 3 minutes (bar closer ‘Ignorance Restored’), and adheres strictly to pop conventions, but this does not restrict Lavender Flu – it simply creates order and reason in the otherwise hazy, crazy world that this record inhabits.
‘You Are Prey’ is perhaps the most interesting track on the record; through Gunn’s foggy, lethargic textures, punk tropes chisel at the weighty psychedelic swelling before the song gives way to an exhaustive waltz. Meanwhile, ‘Just Like Anything’ has all the marks of a Nuggets-style garage-pop classic, the desert winds of the 13th Floor Elevators and the ornamental twang of The Seeds particular reference points for the group.
Lethargic, lysergic guitar pop from the very depths of skaters’ bedrooms seems to be one of the most commonly practiced genres these days, and many records of this ilk are simply too washed out and tonally similar to really engage with. ‘Mow the Glass’, however, sticks out like a sore thumb. Fantastic songwriting, gorgeous textures and occasionally guitar wizardry, Chris Gunn and Lavender Flu have created a truly enthralling album.
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