Lucille Furs

Another Land

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The Chicago quintet Lucille Furs know every trick in the book when it comes to convincingly updating the psychedelic sounds of the '60s, but that doesn't mean they sound stuck in the past. Their second album, Another Land, is a masterclass in how to re-create an era without sounding beholden to it. Yes, they've obviously heard and digested a wide range of folk-rock, baroque pop, garage rock, and psychedelia of all stripes; it's clear they spent a lot of time haunting record stores, spinning Pebbles, Nuggets, Rubbles, and Ripples collections, and getting together vintage gear. Lots of bands have done that since the mid-'80s, some of them in ways that were the equal of their influences thanks to the strength of the songs and the performances. Add Lucille Furs to that hallowed list, because the sonic concoction they come up with here is potent. With a less than stellar band of revivalists, it's easy to spend too much time checking references and not enough digging the songs. With a band like Lucille Furs, the occasional thing pops out here and there like the very Beatles-ish bassline on the title track; mostly though, the gleaming hooks, tricky sonic mechanizations, and lively playing are what carry the day. Every song on the record either has a super sticky chorus, a cool arrangement loaded with Mellotrons, fuzz guitars, and vocal harmonies, or a rambling groove; some have all three. "Paint Euphrosyne Blue" is one, "All Flowers Before Here" is another. They aren't afraid to get spooky and weird like on "Karaoke Trials" or sneak a little country-rock into the mix with the loose-limbed "No Word in English." They prove themselves strong balladeers, too, with tracks like the misty "First, Do No Harm" conjuring up the Zombies and "Eventually" coming across like a sunshine pop version of the Kinks. Between how catchy and fun the songs are, the zest with which the bandmembers put them across, and the skill with which they capture them, the band can do no wrong on Another Land. It's truly a gas from start to finish and rates as one of the best psych revival albums to come along since the heyday of the Paisley Underground.

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