No thoughts. Just vibes.
Holy shit I love this album so much.
Okay, some thoughts, but yeah, so many vibes. Let It Be Gone. Let’s get into it.
The new album from Cincinnati art/goth/vibe punk/rock duo Lung (honestly, I don’t know how else to describe them at the moment) is a goddamn monster of an album. Moody, dense, vibrant, it’s challenging and engaging and never, never boring. There are moments throughout the album’s runtime where you forget you’re listening to 2 people playing drums and a cello. There are times when your brain simply cannot process you’re listening to only one person provide its weird, intoxicating, keenly offbeat vocal performance.
Syncopated and dissonant, jarringly catchy at times - the sum of some truly strange parts, Let It Be Gone is an album that defies easy categorization, and if we’re being honest, sensible critique. I don’t want to, or at least shouldn’t say, “You’re going to really dig the shit out of this,” or “You’re not gonna “get” it,” or, “You’re just going to straight up not have a good time with this one, bud.” That does an album like this a genuine disservice, but there is some truth to all three of those statements. Me? I was kind of primed to sink my ear teeth into it. Bands like Cursive, Murder By Death, and Kiss Kiss all challenged my listening habits years ago. Tori Amos dug her way out of my memory as I was on my 7th or 8th listen. This is a Punk Rock record, capital P, capital R. Wholly unique, even if it triggers a few sonically similar moments to come to mind, but I assure you that you’ve likely never heard an album quite like this one (and yes, that includes their previous releases, which are dynamically weird albums in their own right).
Title track “Let It Be Gone” is a mini-masterclass in songwriting and vibe checking. It’s all haunting falsetto and jagged melody, quietly powerful and absolutely thrumming with life. “Siren Song” is coated in staccato pacing with soaring, operatic vocals and crunchy drums and cello. Vocalist and cellist Kate Wakefield is the titular siren, completely and totally in control of the chaos around her. An incredible performance captured in high fidelity, everything this band does so incredibly well encapsulated in one thrilling track.
Throughout the album, drummer Daisy Caplan provides a shaggy, thumping, absolutely note perfect backbone to the madness. Tracks like “Miles Per Hour” highlight just how good he is at navigating odd time signatures and less than traditional song structures - sure, it’s a straightforward banger, but then you get “Slip” right after and goddamn, I just want to live in that gnarled, distorted cello and driving percussion.
Let It Be Gone closes on a ruminative note, with “Bones” offering one of the quietest all around tracks on the album - but the sentiment is clear, and yes, for me, this all does amount to something. For all the swelling vocals, beautifully guttural cello work, heavy, steady drums… the album is exactly the kind of album I’ve been waiting on, something that’s enthralling and unique from start to finish. This may well be the best release from a Cincinnati band this year, and will end up on my 2022 favorites list without question.