Though it is obvious, as with life itself, the Covid pandemic brought so many things to a standstill it could not defeat the creativity across the world as proven by music alone where the past eighteen months has given us some major moments of imagination and adventure. Amongst them though have been propositions which you wonder whether, without that world altering invasion, they would ever have been conceived or certainly come with the breath of individuality and emotive drama that makes them so powerful.
Come Clean Right Now is one of those striking encounters, an album which is as raw and organic as it is seductive and creatively bold. The third album from art-punk, cello-rock duo, Lung, it feels borne of all the trials and troubles for mind, body and heart we have all endured in our individual ways these past two years. It bears the results of inner reflection, exploration and genuine creativity within isolation, each crafted and unitedly honed into quite simply one of the year’s most gripping and exhilarating offerings. Given birth, like so many, through the simplicity of files sent by email as communication, it is a record written in isolation in under two months, rehearsed/recorded (as socially distanced as possible) in a few weeks and nurtured by the craft and imagination of classically trained opera singer and cellist Kate Wakefield and drummer Daisy Caplan, formerly of Foxy Shazam, Babe Rage, and Ayin; a journey evolving into one simply stunning incitement.
Lung have a sound which defies true pinning as it embraces a wealth of flavours and styles to its own individuality. It has been said to evoke the “driving sludge of early grunge” within its art alt rock tapestry yet equally it employs the vital essences of post punk/ punk and experimental rock, to suggest some of its hues. What it is for sure it is an engagement of body and imagination that stirs the base instincts within and with no greater effect than within Come Clean Right Now; a release that, such its striking contents, has been released before an already recorded and originally proposed, now temporarily shelved, third album.
Come Clean Right Now opens with its title track and immediately surrounds ears in dark drama and similarly lit enterprise. Sinister is a word often used in reference to art of the Lung sound and understandably as there is a tenebrific air to the first track which shimmers around the ever striking vocals of Wakefield. Like her caliginous strings, her voice bears drama and temptation in evolving guises as the track casts an adventure infusing a need to know more in ears and thought, a tempting increasingly sown within the listener song by song.
Equally, Caplan’s rhythmic prowess echoes the dilemma and character of the heart behind each track, the following Sorry slowly dawning on the senses before provoking and nagging on those same increasingly receptive parts with rhythms a swinging mix of incitement and menace. The track is superb, the cello almost gnawing at ears and the track’s contemplation as Wakefield again sparks keen involvement and increased addiction to the drama.
Even though there is a primal edge and at times core to the release equally there is an elegance and intimate grandeur, an alignment which just hooked the passions within I’m Nervous. The intensity and emotive depths the duo spring on the listener through just drums, cello and intimately animated vocals is fascination and power combined; the likes of the quickly following Sugar Pill and Air just as compelling with that canvas of invention and virulently contagious.
Across Come Clean Right Now, the likes of Au Pairs, The Raincoats and Stolen Babies come to mind in varying degrees but as it continues to incite every aspect of appreciation and involvement through tracks such as the Siouxsie and The Banshees-esque Tick Tock with its minacious stalking of the senses and the equally disturbed and haunting Landlocked, uniqueness gripped lustful enslavement.
Both Sun God and Green keep the fertility of emotion and invention coming, the first revelling in the deliciously nagging qualities of Wakefield’s cello and her vocal prowess with a Theatmantics hue adding to its captivation and the second pondering the world’s future with doubt, suspicion, and resolve. Like the music, there is a drama and poetic storytelling from the heart which sparks the imagination as craftily and incisively.
Wave which features the as magnetic vocals of Paige Beller alongside Wakefield is next, a song that transfixed attention like a moth to a flame, every second of its dramatic body a spark for thought and emotive involvement while Morning stands face to face with the listener with tempestuous intent. With every forcibly jabbing rhythm, each senses scything saw of the bow and thought conjuring word crafted in vocal ingenuity, the track got under the skin.
The driving beauty of the radiantly rapacious Arrow brings the album to one inescapably absorbing and enterprising conclusion, epitomising why Come Clean Right Now simply blew us away and continues to do so. There is a kind of chaos to its heart and touch, a sense of emotional turbulence aligned to true craft in imagination shaping that tempest into a virulence of sound.
Album of the year…it just might be and definitely one of its most essential moments.
Come Clean Right Now is out now via Sofaburn Records; available digitally and on vinyl @ https://lunglunglung.bandcamp.com
Pete RingMaster 13/09/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review