1986, Music

Express (1986) by Love and Rockets

I spent way too much time in my review of Earth Sun Moon obsessing over how these guys weren’t Bauhaus. It’s a weird review that I find hard to read now. I wish I had focused on the music so I could try to compare the two records and understand why I appear to have liked that one more than this one.

The sound is very much UK post punk meets psychedelia, which was very much a thing at this point. (It began being a thing in like 1981.) A lot of people eat that up but I’m less sold on it for two reasons: I like original psychedelia and I like post punk. It might seem odd for me to not love the combination of two things I like but I find the combination a little weird, sometimes a little awkward. It’s not really awkward here, but it’s still slightly strange, to me.

The songs are alright, some of them are better than others. They definitely are catchier than most songs from pure post punk bands, which is a good thing. I should point out the slight blues feel to a few of these songs which was a bit of a surprise. The blues were definitely not cool in this world, so that’s something. I can’t say I paid much attention to the lyrics, sorry.

I do like the broader instrumental palette though my review of the next record makes me think it got broader the next time out. It’s been too long since I listened to that one to remember.

Like so many other post punk or post punk-inspired bands, they sort of didn’t change with the times in terms of production and this record still feels a little stuck in post punk production cliches. That’s less of a problem for me than if they’d gone completely contemporary but it still makes the record feel older than it is.

All in all, it just doesn’t move me. At this point I’ve heard a lot of music that sounds vaguely like this and I need more to grab me if I’m really going to care.

6/10

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