The idea of fate is one that serves largely to depress and sedate – that our lives are set upon a course, and that we are destined to follow down this path regardless of our attempts to fight away from it. There’s a school of thought in Onomastics that doesn’t take quite a dim view of humanity, but still makes for quite sad reading: the thought that a person’s name is likely to define what you do as a career – Butchers cutting up meat, Fishers harvesting the fruits of the sea, Carpenters doing woodwork, that kind of thing.
Given the amount of people limply answering phones for a living that aren’t surnamed Teleseller and the amount of checkout assistants that aren’t called Tiller, it’s not something to hold your breath for. But in the world of music, a songs name can usually tell you quite a lot about what you can expect from it. There are few positives to ever be taken from songs called ‘Love Letter’ or ‘Fight or Flight’, the platitudes used as the tracks moniker usually reflected within the music itself. Norwich’s Lunaire tempt fate by giving their own tracks such bland titles – ‘Fly in the Ointment’ and ‘Stage Hands’ hardly setting the heart alight. Thankfully, the sounds that lie beneath show a lot more guile and invention.
Whilst Chapel Club have successfully taken all the edge from downbeat, gloomy pop, Lunaire manage to take this constant rehashing of Joy Division and combine it with the stern, industrial beats of their American counterparts. The production behind the monotone drawl feels more like it should garnish a Zola Jesus track, all atmopshere and space, heavy on percussion and synth, brilliantly low on warmth. It doesn’t reach the harsh depths of La Vampire, but not everything needs to be quite so uncompromising. Fingers crossed there’s no major label lurking around the corner waiting to give them a guitar or two and make them try fulfil the limited potential of their song names, rather than explore the expanse of post-indie rock sounds they currently have at their disposal.
Lunaire – Cold War