Album review: LURK – Around The Sun

Quirky Chicago punks LURK add a few twists to the genre on debut album, Around The Sun

There’s a certain punk mindset that is actually quite conservative, insisting that the genre should look, feel and smell a certain way. There have always been bands willing to at least wobble the envelope, however, and LURK definitely lean that way. The Chicago crew have said they wanted to make something like Ramones meets Devo meets B52s meets The Cramps’. They don’t quite hit the level of glorious absurdity that description dangles but Around The Sun is still a splendidly quirky full-length debut.

The old and the boring look and shake their heads – fuck em!’ they begin on the groovy opener Chromosone. Pressure Points rides a jerky new wave riff and Crack A Smile provides a potential feelgood hit of the autumn with an irresistible bassline and gold-plated hooks. It also comes with a cheap, cheerful and slightly sinister video, which kind of sums up the whole exercise. See-Thru brings in a more aggressive hardcore edge, with taut riffs and a pneumatic groove, while Sterilizer is a spiky screamer. Then there’s Bermuda, which brings in a laid-back jangle with robotic vocals achieved by vocalist Kevin Kiley singing into a Moog synthesiser wired up to a talkbox.

It’s an eclectic debut, certainly, but it never sounds either forced or unfocussed. There’s also a core LURK sound that serves as a jumping off point that falls somewhere between pop-tinged punk and rasping indie-rock, with lyrics that crackle with wit and insight. The separate elements are nothing that haven’t been heard many times before, but the band twist them into interesting and distinctive shapes. It’s well worth taking a spin Around The Sun with them and see what there is to discover.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Weston, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Japandroids

Around The Sun is released on September 17 via Pure Noise.

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Posted on September 13th 2021, 4:14p.m.
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