Lucille Furs, a five piece from Chicago, have an abiding admiration for psych-influenced rock, and on the showing of ‘Another Land‘ there’s a strong Anglophile side to that admiration. It’s something that singer Trevor Newton Pritchett willingly admits to when he reels off their influences, saying “You might hear the Zombies for their kind of haunting and contemplative quality, the Kinks kind-of casual criticism, the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band for their distant romantic quality, Temples, Love…“
It’s all true, ‘Another Land‘ is an album that rubs shoulders with ‘Odessey & Oracle‘ and ‘Forever Changes‘ in its eclectic mix of styles and sounds – but it also brings in a later New Wave sensibility with songs infused with the pure retro-pop influences of Elvis Costello and the Attractions especially on the bouncy ‘Paint Euphrosyne Blue‘ with its tumbling jumble of words delivered by cool compressed vocals and the carpe diem philosophy of “I’ll take lust for life over poise, given the choice.“
The opening title track is a mellotron hippy dream, which catches the dazzling light reflected from the Pacific Ocean in the music whilst Pritchett sings of his unquestioning devotion, “By California’s ocean swell / life is joy and rent gets paid in shells / you don’t have any money / you haven’t made a plan / but if you have to go I’ll go with you, to another land“. It sounds like we’re in for an album in the style of the Allah-Las, a thought that gets swept away immediately by the jaunty vaudeville-influenced ‘Leave it as You Found it‘ which explores a constrained relationship of rules and too many boundaries. We’re well into Loving Spoonful/Small Faces territory here. Similarly ‘The 34th Floor‘ feels like a direct homage to The Zombie’s ‘Care of Cell 44‘, with a cool flat and boxy sound to the drumming and multi-layered vocals.
This is music that’s light and tight – there’s no wasted space here and if a song doesn’t need even two minutes it doesn’t get it. This gives each track an immediacy, and any riffs or little sound effects that come along tend to come along just the once which adds a freshness to Lucille Furs’ sound. It’s a classic sound without any hint of irony – the new old sound done to perfection.