Music For The Planet: The Liverpool Sessions

The Lurxx

Independent release, 2022

http://www.the-lurxx.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/09/2022

The Lurxx are an interesting amalgam of music. Their lyrics are often rooted in nature and the environment, with the occasional dip into issues of the post-industrial world, all while crafting a sound that is a cross between The Byrds, Jellyfish, Carter USM and John Lydon’s vocals.

Their latest release, Music For The Planet: The Liverpool Sessions, finds the trio—vocalist/guitarist Xavi, guitarist/bassist Sabu and drummer Joe—is admirable in that they’re not afraid to tackle subjects that you don’t normally find in rock songs, and their dedication to numerous wildlife species and the man-made plights they face gets the message in the listener’s face. If the music itself were a little stronger, it might have made their message impossible to stop.

An interesting facet of The Lurxx is Sabu’s performance of recorder on many of the nine songs featured on this album (currently available only via download or streaming). It’s a curious choice to add to music like The Lurxx plays, but it works surprisingly well. The only negative to this is that it often highlights the absence of a true bass guitar line (though I swore I heard bass guitar at some times when the credits didn’t list any such instrumentation). The occasional absence of bass guitar does hamper the band’s sound at times.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

To be fair, The Lurxx hit the target more often than they miss it. “Duck Island” and “Sea Mud Tea,” in particular, prove to be strong efforts (the latter dealing with drug abuse, not the environment, though they somehow are able to tie nature into the story). And “Part Of It All,” the disc’s closing track, does feel like they’re able to pull together all the stories told in the other songs and focus them into one laser-sharp point. Plus, let’s face it: anyone can write songs about getting drunk and/or high and getting laid. Even The Lurxx dips into the tales of their early band life on “Sunset Shit,” when they were trying to make a name for themselves in California. To tackle songs about eels, ducks and true environmental warriors, and not have them come off as preachy? Now that’s a challenge, and they rose to it very well.

There are two main points of contention with Music For The Planet: The Liverpool Sessions. The first is the songwriting tends to be uneven at times; for every strong track there is in this collection, there’s something that could have used a little more development, either in the musical structure (“Blue Fish”) or lyrically (“Rebels”—not a bad song per se, but could have easily been expanded on). The second is a little more subjective, as I’d have liked to have heard stronger vocal performances from Xavi on more than one occasion. Musically, The Lurxx is just about there; had a few of these songs had more powerful vocals, I shudder to think how powerful their message would have been as a result.

There’s still a lot of hope within the nine tracks on Music For The Planet: The Liverpool Sessions, and if The Lurxx could tighten up the few areas of contention (and add more of the bass guitar anchor to the mix), they could be the musical warrior voice for the planet in years to come.

Rating: B-

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