REVIEW: Lionlimb- ‘Shoo’


American duo Stewart Bronagh and Joshua Jaeger, recording as Lionlimb, feel like men out of time. This debut album could be carbon-dated 1974- or possibly the late 90s, when artists like Air, Phoenix and Money Mark emerged, wearing AOR influences in their sound.

So it is with God Knows, with funky keyboards, Domino and its brassy Memphis soul arrangements and the wah-wah wash of guitar in Tinman, which sends a narcotic wave over the album. The latter wouldn’t sound out of place on a Paul Thomas Anderson film like Inherent Vice or Boogie Nights, such is its retro-sleaze feel.

A real low point is found in Wide Bed which, inevitably slows the pace down- make-out music, complete with Pina Colada and bad aftershave. There’s a sweaty sense of open-neck shirted bachelor desperation, morose rather than sexy.

Sometimes it falls close to parody, but it’s all pleasant enough, if a tad bland and pedestrian. Really, there is nothing particularly memorable here. It’s fine to mine the past if you bend it into new and interesting shapes (just ask indie pop mavericks Cate Le Bon and Ezra Furman) but sadly Lionlimb just feel more mood makers than cogent album creators.

A shame, as they’re clearly talented musicians- their work with Angel Olsen is far superior, and well worth your time. Maybe if this was being played in Miami rather than a rainy Glasgow…

(Lorna Irvine)

Out March 4th on Bayonet Records




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