Written by: TL on 09/04/2012 15:59:45

So here I am, trying to work myself up to start writing about the self-titled 7-track by Baltimore quartet lushfarm when suddenly - literally just as I'm laying my hands on the keys to strike the first letters - that I've already reviewed lushfarm before. I am a little perplexed by this discovery, and meanwhile I'm sure you all are thinking; "well if he can't even remember the band, surely that can't be a good thing can it?".

And no, it can't and it isn't, though sadly, as I'm listening to "lushfarm", I sort of get the feeling that it won't make this band stick around in my memory either. You see, on this record as on the former, lushfarm appear as a band too occupied with sounding authentic and DIY and not occupied enough with actually writing songs you're going to feel compelled to listen to. The sound is a relatively dull, mid-tempo alternative rock at its core, and while lushfarm branch out in directions bluesy (see; "magnets"), folksy ("conestoga") grungy ("paranoid"), I think this record's essential characteristic is that it doesn't cast the band as having a personality that is particularly.. engaging? memorable? distinct?

When things strike me as borderline folksy, on "magnets" and "conestoga", is when they're at their best, but even there I get the feeling that the band has given too much thought to sounding like nobody else - which they do almost invariably succeed at however - that any chance of really communicating anything to anyone is lost. I guess there's sort of a Pavement-ish cheekiness to the desire to piss on poppy, mainstream conventions, but where Pavement applied a sense of humour and melody that made them brilliant, lushfarm sound a little too serious and as an effect, a little too boring.

So, likely this is not the most flattering, nor the most accurate article lushfarm will ever have written about them, but then I think that's something you must be prepared for when you go to lengths to not make your music so hard to appreciate, even for someone who reviews 100-200 different releases a year. If being different is really the all important goal here, then congratulations lushfarm, you've managed that, I'm just not sure if it's a good thing. Personally I'd recommend working out a more consistent sound and tightening up the songwriting quite a bit, but otherwise - as harsh as it sounds - I think I'd have to have forgotten about you again to somehow whip up curiosity for any future releases from your band.

Download: magnets, conestoga (parts I, II; &III)
For The Fans Of: I have no idea, but maybe; Pavement, The Decemberists or even Counting Crows?

Release Date 20.09.2011

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