Avant! Records has been putting out some pretty amazing titles lately. I would like to honor this great label with a series of reviews starting with the latest and working my way to some blasts from the past. We’ll start with the most recent rerelease of Lust for Youth’s “Saluting Rome.” This one was originally released on tape by Posh Isolation back in the summer of 2012. It gets proper vinyl treatment on appealing grayish white wax and all new sleeve and art design. It’s just stunning.
When it comes to the five tracks inscribed I can’t help but compare them to my first introduction to this act. My first exposure was the epic “Solar Flare” LP. That earlier one was a tangle of synthy resonance and decaying echo spread across a huge mural of beautifully grating electro wash. I had never heard anything like it before but I knew I was onto something great. That was released about a year before “Saluting Rome.” Already within the year’s time you could tell that LFY had honed in the talent. With a more concentrated and refined sound it moved from the dark ambient soundscapes of “Solar Flare” to more discernible songwriting on “Saluting Rome.” We already heard it when the duo became a solo with “Growing Seeds,” LFY’s second full length on Avant! wax, but it’s so obvious it stares you right in the face on this one. LFY has now arrived with what can be described as a post-industrial noisy synth-pop with darkwave flavor.
The most glaring characteristic for me is, especially with the vocal style, the new neofolk approach here. I’m convinced that LFY has neofolk influence and is reinventing the genre. When you take a good look at the whole aesthetic visual and aural, you can’t help but pick up on it. It is my opinion that LFY does neofolk with synth the way Douglas P. (Death in June) did with guitar. Consider also the themes that are drawn out. Where DIJ wrote anthems about the fall of western civilization, we hear LFY write hymns about moral decline. Where DIJ sifts through the rubble of neoclassical monuments to fallen war heroes mixed in with religious and philosophical motifs, LFY also walks through the crumbling wreckage of nationalistic and imperialistic idealism with views of anti-militaristic activism and psychological agendas. While not exact in comparison, it is difficult to deny that LFY could carry with it a cult status much like DIJ for a new generation. Regardless of your opinion, however, these cool-to-the-touch synth melodies are infectious!