Luna

Lunapark

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AllMusic Review by

Luna's 1992 debut (originally released under the short-lived band name Luna 2 for contractual reasons) got most of its press due to Dean Wareham's former position as leader of the critically adored Galaxie 500, but his new cohorts Justin Harwood (bass) and Stanley Demeski (drums) were fresh from stints in the Chills and the Feelies, respectively. A rarity among albums by this type of alt-rock supergroup, Lunapark sounds like an appealing conglomeration of some of the best aspects of all three participants' former bands. Wareham's familiar bored whine and slow-motion guitar create an interesting tension when juxtaposed with Harwood's ultra-melodic bass and Demeski's hyperactive drums, as if each member is still playing with his old band. The album spawned two college radio hits, the deliciously depressive "Slide" (with its memorable opening line "You can never give the finger to the blind") and the jittery, propulsive "Slash Your Tires," but nearly all of the 12 songs have memorable guitar hooks, stick-in-your-head choruses, and a newfound sense of humor in Wareham's deadpan lyrics. Lesser-known gems include the surprisingly poppy "I Can't Wait" and the Television-like tension of the closing "We're Both Confused." Guests feature Wareham's old label head Kramer and Mercury Rev co-leader Grasshopper, who adds extra guitar to about a third of the album.

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