OK, I’ll confess it up front. When it became clear that Lucas Renney was abandoning the sort of up tempo material that the Golden Virgins did so well, I was a little concerned. Not at the quality of the early demos but just at how this might translate over a full length LP.
I needn’t have worried – his songwriting is more than strong enough to cope without the need to resort to attention grabbing rock dynamics. I’ve looked everywhere on this record but I can’t find a weak song anywhere.
The pace only once rises above that of the ballad – on the penultimate track ‘Rising Soul’. It’s something of a surprise to suddenly be presented with an uptempo number so close to the end of the record yet it doesn’t feel out of place – it fits perfectly.
Otherwise the big strength of the songs are their gorgeous melodies. Whilst the arrangements can’t all be described as lush, there’s a distinctly late night feel to some of the material, there is nonetheless a luxurious feel to the songs. Yet despite the attractive arrangements, lyrically the songs deal with familiar Renney territory. They may all be songs about love but mainly these are songs of obsession, regret and maybe even death – rest assured there are no happy endings.
‘Strange Glory’ is nothing less than a triumph. In fact IMHO it deserves to be considered in the same breath as the best two LPs of the year so far De Rosa’s ‘Prevention’ and the Lord Cut-glass LP. I would urge you to investigate!
A (very quiet) live version of ‘Lord Knows I Do’: