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Feed The Engines! (Last Night From Glasgow)

By • Mar 21st, 2020 • Category: Album review

The last three years has welcomed increasing success for Glasgow-based alt-pop band L-Space and their latest album ‘Feed The Engines!’ promises even more.

The ten track record was released in early February, however fans will have to wait until the 3rd of April to get their hands on the CD and custom single, alongside the streaming release. However, those who have heard the album will undoubtedly agree that it is worth the wait.

Since their formation in 2017, L-Space have been prolific in their work releasing three EPs, numerous singles, the 2018 album ‘Kipple Arcadia’ and the 2019 musical score ‘Music for Megastructures’. Each release has paved the way for L-Space’s growing fan-base and their music has been praised by critics for its ability to combine strong electro-pop sounds with complex, topical lyrical themes.

The ten tracks featured on ‘Feed The Engines!’ have continued to do so whilst elevating L-Space’s sound to a higher level, portraying that their songwriting and lyrical ability is only growing in strength.

The band have described ‘Feed The Engines!’ as “An album about late-stage capitalism and being tired all the time”. Although something that many can certainly relate to in this day and age, this is difficult state to depict accurately through an album. Although L-Space have given themselves a large task, Feed The Engines! has successfully lived up to the challenge.

‘Feed The Engines!’ opens with the track ‘Karoshi’. Synth and electronic keyboard compliment each other to create an obscure, yet dark pop sound reminiscent of the sounds created by bands such as New Order, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk throughout the eighties. Both the music and the lyrics work together to mirror the title of the track.

‘Karoshi’ is a widespread phenomenon in Asia which literally translated means ‘overwork death’. This is referenced through the lyric “and I want you to know/that you’re working us to the bone” which is repeated within the chorus. ‘Karoshi’ introduces us to the intriguingly complex synth-pop sound that we will hear throughout Feed The Engines!, as well as the complex lyrical themes that will also run throughout.

The tone shifts with the second track ‘ok’. Front woman Lily Highman is given the opportunity to showcase her beautiful and delicate vocals, which juxtapose with the harsh, raw synth sounds. These are minimal and stripped back to begin with, but they build to a strong crescendo as the track advances. Whilst ‘Karoshi’ depicts an awareness and rebellion against injustice, ok. expresses a tender sadness and melancholy.

Lyrically, ‘Feed The Engines!’ depicts a creative awareness of various issues the world faces today. The tracks ‘Diamonds Are For Breakfast’ and ‘Extinctathon Champions 2020’ explores one of the most important topics of our time – the climate emergency. Through their melodic synth-pop riffs and rhythms, which expertly catch the listener’s attention, L-Space explore this topic through poetic and subtle, yet exceptionally well written lyrics which carry a strong message and an accurate depiction of the world around us.

Furthermore, the track ‘Unit of Production’ features an excerpt of the Glasgow University rectorial address made by Scottish trade unionist Jimmy Reid in 1972 on the “alienation” experienced by several members of British society. This is the strongest and most memorable track on the album. This is not only due to the political and social observation made in the lyrics and the inclusion of Reid’s speech, but because of the way in which Highman’s vocals flow perfectly with the hypnotic synth and steady beat that is prominent within the track. The lyrics place Highman as a spectator of the bustling city around her, which she merely views as a “unit of production’” and another cog in the capitalist agenda. It is an intelligent and well-structured track which reflects the album as a whole.

‘Feed The Engines!’ is an original and exceptional creation by L-Space. Not only do the lyrics deal with topical issues – both political, social and environmental- exceptionally well, but the album showcases the band’s ability to take influence from music of the past in order to create modern, memorable and fresh tracks of their own. Each of the ten tracks flow together, complimenting each other and working together to create an outstanding atmosphere and experience for the listener.

L-Space have excelled themselves with ‘Feed The Engines!’ and created a piece of art that they should be exceptionally proud of.

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