Review: Luna - Penthouse (IKON - 09/95)

in categories:

  • Luna - Penthouse (Beggars Banquet)
  • by Peter Shapiro
  • IKON magazine (UK) September 1995

Although in the States their music adorns Calvin Klein ads, Luna are perhaps only known in Britain as the opening band on Velvet Underground's reunion tour. The low profile is the result of criminal neglect, but there are times when Luna sound perilously close to some Velvets tribute band playing the college circuit.

Musically Luna take their cues from VU's eponymous third LP: slowlypropulsive guitar drones, looping basslines and simple straightforward drum patterns. There are times you'll find yourself singing "Some kinds of love, Marguerita told Tom" or "What goes on here in your heart" before being taken aback by different lyrics. But where Lou Reed's characters either took a bite out of the Big Apple or choked on it's worm-eaten core, lyricist Dean Wareham's New York is a place of childish whimsy and wide eyed innocence. Penthouuse is comprised of artful naïfs (Washington's Beat Happening are an aknowledged influence) that turn the exquisite pain of loss into the languid insouciance of slackerdom.

This is the sound of men lazing around in stripy T-shirts and scruffy jumpers, delaying the onset of adulthood for as long as possible. With lines like, "it's no fun reading fortune cookies on your own", and Sterolab's chanteuse Laetitia Sadier guesting on a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's Bonnie and Clyde, Luna achieve a state of perfect indieness. That is, they make pretty good noise, and undercut it with an achingly hip, feigned boyishness.

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