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Lavender Flu - Barbarian Dust LP

Lavender Flu - Barbarian Dust LP

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Barbarian Dust was boxed up and ready to ship before the virus stopped work at our favourite Bay Area record warehouse back in March. My anticipation for this one was at an all time high and chucking it on the turntable I felt immediate relief, as if this was proof that our connection to idiosyncratic subcultural music will persevere, regardless of what the world throws at us. Members of The Lavender Flu have links to previous exciting moments in 21st Century music. Anyone that had an ear-opening experience with Hospitals - Hairdryer Peace or The Hunches - Exit Dreams will be glad to know they're still at it, making as-affecting music, albeit more focused on "traditional" songwriting but still dripping with outsider atmosphere. Compared to 2018s Mow The Grass LP the edges are a little less rounded and the vocals a little less buried, but the general mode of operation is the same. Passages of pretty, 60s-ish psych guitar and walking fuzz bass lines are met with a raggardness and aggression that nods to an equal relationship with punk, garage and odd sounds beyond the fringes of rock. I sometimes hear oppositional approaches to late 60s/early 70s artful-rock in their music. Early Dead, Country Joe & The Fish, The Pretty Things, 13th Floor Elevations, Eno, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and The Velvet Underground are all audible in their music but in a way that'd exclude them from the realms of the dress-up retro rock circuit. A band that's too heavy/vulnerable, too well worn and lived-in for the contemporary psych-rock commodity market but fit right in with our little store. Surely one of the best of 2020! - Nic