Label: Kranky Release date: 05/04/10 Website: Myspace Imagine Mark E. Smith fronting the Velvet Underground after they’ve listened to too many Ramones records and you’ve pretty much got Disappears. Theirs is a recognisable sound suddenly in vogue thanks to the neo-lo-fi aesthetic adhered to by No Age, Japandroids and Times New Viking. Steadfastly down-stroked guitars, metronomic drums, echoing feedback, bluesy riffs; this is Glasvegas sold back to us by Chicago two years too late. Twenty-two years too late if you screw your eyes up and picture the Jesus and Mary Chain really hard. ‘Gone Completely’ is the album’s emphatic highlight, illogically put first in the tracklist so the rest of the album is a rapidly-diminishing disappointment. Its ‘I’m Waiting For the Man’ reimagined for the 21st Century by A Place to Bury Strangers; sneered vocals, overdriven guitars and simplistic drums. It’s reminiscent also of Guided By Voices’ most sparsely gainy, delay-soaked tracks, like ‘My Valuable Hunting Knife’ or ‘Buzzards & Dreadful Crows’. Following on less successfully, ‘Magics’ makes use of some interesting drum work, impressionistic splashes of cymbal mostly on the on-beat and a cavernous lead guitar sound. Unfortunately, the rest of the album devolves too often into swampy punkabilly, the sort of stuff youve heard thousands of timkyes from support bands never likely to get anywhere. ‘Pearly Gates’ is a prime example of this, vocals mixed above a sub-BRMC guitar riff revealing frequently-revisited (‘LUX’, ‘No Other’) nihilistic sentiments in DISAPPEARS’ lyrics. But by ‘Marigold’, the hookish, swaggering atmosphere of ‘Gone Completely’ has already, well... gone completely, replaced with identikit mid-tempo drudges harbouring indiscernible mumbling. Lux quickly get very formulaic, with scales wearily trawled up and down on the title track’s riff; the producer clearly also grows bored, cutting the track two minutes into a laborious jam. Their sound would be fine delivered as an EP, but on their full-length debut Disappears outstay their welcome by a good two or three samey songs. For a ten-track album twenty-nine minutes in length to sound too long must be some sort of achievement. In fact, I mistakenly listened to the record with my iPod on random and didn’t notice the bloody difference. I struggle to think of another album where you could listen to the whole thing in a different order and simply not realise. A word of advice also; don’t question “When’s this gonna end? How’s it gonna be?” on the final track of your nine-and-a-half-shades-of-mud album, as it simply encourages listeners to ponder that very question. Fair play to Disappears for sticking to their manifesto all the way through; they’re standing by the courage of their convictions in not attempting to reinvent themselves track-by-track. There’s no pandering to third party desires thinly disguised as experimentation; we say jump and Disappears jump as high as they feel like. Although following that metaphor to its conclusion, Lux sounds like a barely-arsed shrug. Photobucket