You really can’t get much better than ‘Leaves Me Blind’, the 1992 magnum opus from the seminal Underground Lovers – their second album. Lead single ‘Your Eyes’ remains on my personal list of favourite songs ever with its hypnotic bass and dreamy ethereal fugue. The entire album positively shimmers and glows and has the collective high gloss quality of a best of album. Every track is a brilliant exposition of why this is such a vital underrated band.
This release follows the remastered version of their debut album ‘Get To Notice’ earlier this year (see my piece here).
The album opens with ‘Eastside Story’ with its shimmering wall of guitars, shoegaze drone and ominous rumble of a bass, followed by ‘Promenade’ a dream pop melodic shimmer with iron guitar undercurrent. ‘I Was Right’ rides along on a motorik thrum and a wave of cascading guitars with Philippa Nihill taking over the vocal controls – distant, remote and arctic. Nihill continues at the helm with the ethereal and surreal fugue of ‘Holiday’ which unfolds like some heavy come down after an endless high as she deadpans is this your idea of a holiday?
The Underground Lovers’ panache for something wilder edges to the fore with ‘Got Off On It’ as Vincent Giarrusso injects his louche vocals into the fuzzy guitars wielded by Glenn Bennie. ‘Daze’ and ‘Waves’ provide an ethereal and experimental fugue respectively before the dizzy rapture of ‘Your Eyes’ in all its eight minutes glory kicks in with a pair of Doc Martens and a swag full of attitude, leavened by chemical additives. Maurice Augriro’s bass iconic line has to be one of the best bass runs in existence upon which the entire song surfs. This is the sound of genius:
‘Ladies Choice Cuts’ sees Nihill and Giarrusso share duties on the vocals in a smooth laid back dubstep-inflected track that just smacks of some blissed out rave in the middle of a paddock somewhere, fueled by those smiley pills. This fugue continues in ‘Get To Know’, while final track ‘Whisper Me Nothing’ lies back in a cotton cloud bed with Giarrusso’s vocals tired and worn out from all the dancing and excess.
Produced by Wayne Connolly, Glenn Bennie and Vincent Giarrusso and engineered by Connolly at Paradise, January 1992, this album remains a beacon of light in antipodean (and indeed, global) music – an innovative collision of electronica and indie guitar pop, a global shoegaze pioneer that remains as fresh and vital as it did thirty years ago. It has been remastered by Don Bartley to add a blinding burnish.
The album is being released in vinyl form (for the first time I believe), remastered and shiny it all its sonic glory. Get to know it through the link below and bask in its glory:
The band is celebrating the thirty year anniversary of this masterpiece with some live dates – mostly sold out by now. You can still get some tickets to the Sydney show here.