It’s the steady tom drum plod of “Little Ghost” that really stuck out for me on first listen. The one-chord verse nudged along by a rattling tremolo, the brilliant vocal baritone murmuring over the top…each element is in a gorgeously triumphant locomotive march, a steady and formidable rhythm keeping everything in deeply hypnotic motion. But the truth is that it’s hard to really fault any track on “Lux” – the whole album is just an absolute joy to crack on, consistently captivating with its dirty jams and subtle shoegaze blur. At half an hour in length it’s an experience that comes and goes relatively quickly, but this is made completely irrelevant by its immediate and limitless replayability.
“Gone Completely” sets the vibe of this release – a hefty slab of distorted chord grinds itself against the earth with metronomic snare hits and screaming leads drifting along on top, all the while held together by songwriting simplicity that immerses you in its constant repetition. “Pearly Gates” ups the tempo, rarely deviating from its two-chord progression and piling on the fuzz until the whole piece threatens to burst open, whilst the closer “No Other” plods delicately like the persistent journey towards a desert mirage. It’s worth noting that the production of “Lux” is spot on too, capturing the midpoint between murky garage energy and giving each instrument distinction and breathing space, providing the rhythm section with enough prominence to drive the album forward without removing any emphasis from the crackling guitar haze that seeps overhead.
On one hand, this Disappears debut establishes itself with the stomping confidence of a band with a few more years behind them, but there’s a subtle modesty within their work as well – the songs on “Lux” tease you with their potential to loop themselves into trippy infinity, and crash to a close after 3 minutes instead. Credit to them, as it’s part of what makes this album so great.