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Victorian surf rockers Loon Lake recently dropped their debut album Gloamer, and in what was undoubtedly one of the more interesting promotional exercises of the year unsuspecting pedestrians on the streets of Melbourne were asked to provide their early reviews of the album. The general consensus was that no-one really knew anything about Loon Lake or their debut album, so you probably deserve a slightly more in-depth look at this thoroughly entertaining debut.
Album opener Tonight acts more as an intro than a song unto itself, but no doubt could have been elaborated on to become an indie/dance crossover anthem with its looped keyboard sequences rising to a crescendo before merging into the Weezer-esque Love Gets Done after just under two minutes. Whilst its guitar progressions are suspiciously similar to that band’s Island In The Sun, Loon Lake’s more abrasive approach easily pushes the comparisons to one side.
City Lights puts the listener in the back seat of a tour van, with an ode to that journey from home to the stage. “I can see the city lights, we gotta make the show tonight. I’m hungry but I’ll keep on striving, we gotta make the show on time,” vocalist Sam Nolan repeats, documenting the life of a band on the road with a notable absence of rock star lifestyle tropes.
Cherry Lips should be familiar to anyone within earshot of a radio, with its less-is-more hand-clap tempo sure to be even more effective in the live setting. The rampant party anthem On Fire follows up, where 8-bit chiptune sounds chime in like that annoying friend in a conversation that doesn’t involve them. The match between the driving riffs and the chaotic keyboard sequences works well together though.
Bones and Parties slow things down and provide some welcome diversity, where the raucous celebratory nature of its predecessors are replaced by downbeat, gloomy but brilliant numbers. The pop explosion returns on Spain, with imagery of lounging in the sun and nightclub adventures conjuring warm nostalgia, while Carolina brings back that wondrous, fuzzy surf rock style.
Gloamer is an accomplished debut from a group that promised as much with their earlier recordings and steady presence on the touring circuit. With appearances at the Big Day Out in 2014, Loon Lake now have the kind of attention which should see wider audiences fall in love with their particular blend of indie pop.