Perhaps the Most Satisfying Joy Left to Us in an Age So Limited and Vulgar as Our Own
Pretentious titles aside — that’s mister Oscar Wilde to y’all — the music contained herein is anything but. Unassuming, casually strummed pop that combine the depressed and anguished undercurrents with a lilting bounce in its steps, and The Lookyloos are a most welcome new acquaintance. Sure, there are some weaker spots on here — tracks like “Enchanted,” “Spanish Castles,” and “The Actress” are barely treading water — but elsewhere this is a surprisingly well-rounded collection of tracks that knows when to hold back and when to let everything out.
The Lookyloos revel in summer psychedelia, taking in The Beach Boys and The Byrds as they go along — check the nostalgic “The Goats of Kashmir” and the psych-folk of “Inside Small Spaces” — but they filter it through a playful contemporary vision, and ensure it turns out as anything but redundant or blatantly retro. Eric Janssen’s limited but highly unique vocals help underline the music’s frailty — it threatening to constantly fall apart, but always holds on, holding things together.
If not the great album they may have in them, this is still a convincing display of huge talents and a profound understanding of how to get their songs across. This album was six years in the making, so don’t hold your breath for the follow-up. When it eventually does arrive, however, we may have a true gem on our hands. Meanwhile, this one leaves us with enough joy and intrigue for now.
Lather Records: http://www.latherrecords.com