Whet our appetites

Kid Cudi honed his craft listening to A Tribe Called Quest in the sprawling mass of bricks and mortar that is Brooklyn, New York. Cloud Control honed theirs surrounded by mythical mountains, scorching sunshine and the echoing vastness of the Australian countryside. Two worlds collide tonight as the cutest quartet The Lexington has seen all year cover the US rapper’s ‘Pursuit Of Happiness.’ The acerbic hip hop is stripped naked, painted fluorescent orange and smeared with the crunchy, loveable psych that is fast becoming the trademark of a remarkable band.

That a cover warrants this attention is testament to Cloud Control’s ability and self-awareness. In the hands of another band this could have been an awkward moment, but they handle the song and the hint of irony that comes with it brilliantly. Their own material, in the form of debut album ‘Bliss Release,’ makes up the rest of the hour, all meandering guitar lines and bass wobbles woven intricately into poignant keys and glazed with layers of sumptuous vocals. The likes of ‘Gold Canary’ and ‘Deathcloud’ allow vocalists Alister Wright and Heidi Lenffer to showcase a pair of voices that are as powerfully resonant as they are subtly captivating. Lenffer bops and wiggles like it’s 1963, flirty and alluring behind her keys, whilst Alister peeps from beneath a glossy fringe to belt out his lyrics. The rhythm section is equally competent, and closer inspection reveals that all four seem to have stepped out of an advert for two weeks in paradise. Their grins, matched with button down shirts for the boys and a dress for Lenffer make us want to join them there.

Elsewhere, ‘This Is What I Said’ is a rollicking jive, its soaring jubilance is redolent of The Smiths and Beach Boys whilst carving a niche all of its own. The single with an essay for a title (‘Meditation Song #2 (Why Oh Why), shows where this band are capable of going. Shimmering and sure of itself, it distils their opaque lyrics (“Make my head a pool of water now”), spaced out woodland psych melodies and moreish vocals into a four-minute hit. Already tipped to for big things in 2011, this early London outing contains little to criticise. We can’t bemoan a lack of quality, an overload of hype or a band unprepared for their future. Indeed, all that’s left as they troop off is a roomful of whetted appetites.

Words by Ben Homewood


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