Release Date: Dec 11, 2015
Record label: 4AD
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Dream Pop, Shoegaze
Ethereal (or "Etheriel"), that was always the word back then. But Lush's celestial shimmer represented only one element of their overall sound. The lower depths of the Lush bass and drums joined in to propel those chiming guitars and sweet yet haunting voices outwards, even taking the whole to some unforeseen places. Chorus gives a chance to look at Lush's trajectory from the spooky sonic storm of the collected EPs on Gala and their debut full-length Spooky to their distinctive spin in the Britpop maelstrom (third album Lovelife, especially with dancefloor filler "Ladykillers" and Jarvis Cocker duet "Ciao!").
In 2015, Lush -- masters of celestial harmonies, stab-and-swirl guitar lines, and one-word titles -- announced their full reactivation. The 4AD label, with assistance from the band's Emma Anderson and designer Chris Bigg, also assembled and issued Chorus, a comprehensive box set of the band's 1989-1996 output. Each of the five discs leads with a full-length in its entirety and is filled to capacity with an assortment of extras.
Chorus is the perfect title for an anthology of Lush’s relentlessly infectious songs. Their studio albums, 1992s Spooky, 1994s Split and 1996s Lovelife are topped and tailed by here two compilations, Gala and Topolino, as well as everything else they recorded. A mammoth 105 tracks are spread over five lovingly packaged discs. Prior to their very welcome live return next year - their first shows since the tragic passing of drummer Chris Acland twenty years ago - Chorus is timely reminder of how wonderful Lush were.
Of all the recently reformed shoegaze bands – Ride, Slowdive and Swervedriver – Lush were the ones with proper attitude. Their music swirled with all the heady delay and reverb that defined that late 80s/early 90s movement, but guitarists Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, bassist Phil King and late drummer Chris Acland made it hookier and spikier. And besides, they had wicked hair and sang about how boys were rubbish.
Often misrepresented and rarely afforded the respect they deserved, Lush were a breath of fresh air in a very male-heavy dominated scene. Having formed in 1987 - initially as The Baby Machines - it took a change in personnel and eventually musical direction to bring them to the attention of lauded independent label 4AD and the rest is history – albeit a chequered one and mainly for reasons beyond their control. Indeed, the Lush story traverses every conceivable emotion throughout their 11-year-existence.
Co-helmed by feisty guitar/ vocal duo Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, London- based proto-shoegazers Lush first appeared on the scene early in 1988; a time when female-fronted indie outfits such as The Primitives and The Sundays were very much in vogue. A buzz quickly surrounded the band and, once signed to 4AD, they recorded three studio LPs, survived grunge and appeared to be negotiating Britpop before drummer Chris Acland’s tragic death pulled down the curtain late in 1996. Released as the surviving band members have announced a forthcoming reunion, Chorus collects Lush’s entire back catalogue and presents it bound in a beautiful hardback book.