steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Lucy Show

"...undone" CD

Words on Music

Genre: post-punk, new wave

London, England

April 2010

Only the most assiduous post-punk enthusiasts are likely to recall this London act's brief career in the mid-eighties, though The Lucy Show did manage to put out two albums over their momentary tenure. ...undone, their urgent, dramatic debut, originally came out in 1985 on A&M, and registered some fine impressions on critics and college radio directors, though all the buzz somehow failed to rescue them from the annals of obscurity; in fact, they were dropped by their label within the year. Words on Music, that stellar imprint which recently put out several For Against reissues (and new albums), has wisely ladled this record out of limbo, issuing this lovely re-release in hopes of bringing The Lucy Show to new ears. But does it stand the test of time?

These four folks do wear their influences quite prominently on their sleeves, which has resulted in some charges of being outright derivative. Certainly, they borrow rather overtly from the likes of The Church, The Comsat Angels, The Sound, and Joy Division, though I still found myself enjoying this record rather consistently – partly because I'm a big fan of those bands as it is, but also because The Lucy Show execute their borrowings with such impeccable melodiousness. Indeed, the band's shimmering pop hooks often overshadow their shady post-punk atmospherics. Consider sublime opener “Ephemeral (This is No Heaven),” which is hoisted by jangly, sinewy guitar chimes, a momentous, Joy Division-esque bassline, and a glistening vocal melody. It's a formula that graces this record's better moments, like propulsively infectious “Come Back to the Living” and foot-moving “Undone.” Then there's also the earnest, early-Church influenced pop of joyful “Remain,” or the later-era Church meanderings of slithery “The White Space.” Only a few songs venture into mediocrity (“The Twister,” “Dream Days”), a noteworthy feat for a debut record.

The story of the Lucy Show is hardly an inspiring one; in fact, it's a rather unfortunate tale and, to be cynical, it's one that's been echoed by more than a few bands since the advent of the music industry. Fortunately, Words on Music has been helping to resurrect a few of the tastier relics of post-punk's spottily-remembered past. And this somewhat underrated tidbit is certainly worthy of a second look.

the lucy show's myspace

"Ephemeral (This Is No Heaven)":

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]