by / June 25th, 2012 /

Peaking Lights – Lucifer

 5/5 Rating

(Mexican Summer)

Peaking Lights (married couple Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis) only really came into the limelight with last year’s mould breaker 936, an album that offered a fresh concoction of otherwise stale ingredients. It seems almost elementary now but before that release no one had ever really mixed lo-fi, dub, and psychedelic rock into anything even vaguely palatable – and why would anyone try? It seems like a recipe for disaster. Yet it’s a style that flows from the duo as if it’s the most natural thing in world and it’s this airiness that they’ve brought to Lucifer that makes it so enjoyable. You get the impression that someone just started recording them around the house, like they’d be doing this anyway even if no one was listening.

‘Moonrise’, with its soft xylophonic stairways, eases you in with whispers of what’s to come. It’s really the perfect start, short and oh so sweet and an archetype for the album as a whole. At just over 42 minutes, Lucifer keeps everything neat and succinct. You can only gorge yourself on syrup for so long. Knowing that, the duo simply culled their lemonade melodies down to an eight track serving of silken bliss. It’s somehow glaringly sugary without becoming sickly at the same time, a feat that’s summed up excellently with ‘Beautiful Son’. As a loving ode to a new born son, it’s a track that could easily come across as mawkish but doesn’t. Instead we’re treated to Dunis’ sincere, narcotic vocals and one of the first unpretentious psych-rock guitar solos in years.

When the album isn’t bathing you in golden harmonies it’s shooting thick thuds of bass through you. Cut out the highs and middles and you’re left with subsonic tones that could easily have come from the belly of King Tubby or Scientist. Both ‘Cosmic Tides’ and ‘LO HI’ wouldn’t be out of place on a dub reggae best of, yet are still undeniably contemporary. This is perhaps Peaking Lights’ best trait: they’ve blended numerous classic elements into a wholly new sound that’s neither awkward nor busy at any point. The end result is a pretty much flawless album – as saccharine and colourful as a pack of Jolly Ranchers, with each venture revealing an enticing new favourite.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube