Thank you Columbia House. Really. It’s the only time you’ll ever hear me say that. I had no idea who Lush was. But the chick had bright red hair. And in the monthly Columbia House magazine, circa 1993, there was a blurb about them. None of the references made sense to me, but based on the photo, I HAD TO. But I wasn’t going to wait for albums to arrive in the mail. So on a trip to an outlet mall I bought Gala and Spooky sight unseen. The sales girl at the record store that I was bold, buying two albums by a band I didn’t know. I got home and my brain immediately exploded. At the time, when my friends were into Dinosaur Jr. and Nirvana, I thought I’d found some sort of common ground, but Sweetness and Light had no place being propped up next to Lithium. Looking back I know that now, the sleeve art should have been a signal.
A few years later when I left Buffalo and moved to Miami, think age 15, Split came out. Split changed everything. It’s a top ten album of mine to this day. From the clinking intro of Light from a Dead Star, to the bass hook of Hypocrite, to the dark synths of Undertow, this record is heavy and clean and moody. It’s a fist of an album. Sometimes in the face, but more often in the stomach. I remember having gotten my driver’s license around the time this came out, and to have the freedom, and the movement, and this coming out the speakers, is something I’ll never forget.
Another album followed and then they broke up. But, 2015 brought the announcement of a reunion. For a band that ended too soon, it’s only fitting they get a second chance. It holds up. And there’s nothing out there that sounds like them.