Lust For Youth – Compassion

Album Review by Andrew Gordon | 27 Feb 2016
  • Lust For Youth – Compassion
Album title: Compassion
Artist: Lust For Youth
Label: Sacred Bones
Release date: 18 Mar

Better Looking Brother, Compassion’s marathon lead single and standout moment, represents both the quintessential Lust For Youth track and a first step into new territory. It’s the triumphant realisation of the shadowy, downbeat synthpop Hannes Norrvide has been working towards since his lo-fi bedroom recordings, weaving his trademark one-finger riffs and propulsive drum machine hits into a nuanced and atmospheric number that – despite featuring bongo drums – sounds chilly enough to make your teeth rattle.

It’s also something more: stretching beyond the seven-minute mark and punctuated with dramatic breaks and siren noises, it’s a concerted move towards the dance floor. Compassion’s best moments share this kineticism: the chirpy cowbell entry in Sudden Ambition; Tokyo’s driving bass. When the pace slows however, the group’s very affected 80s-evoking style becomes a bit overbearing, so committed to its trendy celestial shtick that it runs the risk of rebounding past retro-chic back into tacky territory again. Careful with that synth.