Prepare your turntable for heavy rotation spinners vinyl fans, ’cause Bandbox is out to bring the record store to your own front door.
Groove is in the Bandbox
That’s right music fans, Bandbox is now a premiere online record store offering you the chance to fill your mail box with albums from artists spanning every genre. As their slogan goes, it’s pretty much like having the record store delivered to your front door. And Bandbox is indeed boasting a record store style variety of artists and albums, with a treasure trove of exclusive pressings you do not want to sleep on.
Having it your way is the Bandbox mantra. With a storefront offering exclusive color pressings of albums from an artist you adore, and a fresh edition of the signature artist-specific fan zine, the B-Box crew has effectively made it possible to do a little legit bin-diving from the comfort your very own home.
As for October, it opted to revisit a dream-poppy classic from shoegaze all-stars Lush. Check it out.
Let the Great World Spin
Apart from being able to take a risk on something I’ve never heard before, one of the things I continue to love about record clubs is that they also give you a chance to revisit something that was once held in heavy rotation, but has maybe taken a back seat to other sounds over the years. It’s also pretty nice to be able to do so with a first-rate pressing that you cannot get anywhere else.
To be clear, the three Lush releases that graced the Bandbox store have absolutely been reissued elsewhere. But Bandbox is the only site carrying these particular color ways. If that matters to you, they’re absolutely worth seeking out. Which ever one you pick up, know they have indeed been lovingly remastered from the original analogue tapes. And that really s should matter to you.
I can admit that I maybe take record sleeves and the artwork that adorns them a little too seriously at times. So I’m happy to report the sleeve protecting Split is quite the beauty. As is the collage-y artwork.
If you’re wondering about the words running down the side, they’re actually the album’s lyrics, and production notes. They carry over to the inner sleeve too. And purely from a design standpoint, it’s a pretty cool way to convey that info.
Lush – Split (1994)
As anyone who lived the decade can attest, the 1990s were a particularly wild time for music. In fact, as the alternative scene sprouted its wonderfully gloomy wings in the first half of the decade, it was virtually impossible to keep track of all the new bands, and new sounds that made their way to the airwaves. But of those sounds, one that never quite made it to the forefront of popular music was shoegaze. And of all the shoegazers who came and went in the ’90s, Lush were at the forefront of the movement.
Given their prominence in the early days of the UK shoegaze scene, it’s odd that Lush isn’t often mentioned in the same sentence as fellow torchbearers like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, or even Ride. But that may be because they were the first of those from the initial shoegaze wave to break from form, with the band pivoting in to full-blown dream pop just before their 1996 breakup. And that pivot essentially began with their 1994 release Split.
Make no mistake, there are still plenty of head down, hair in your face styled rippers on Split, as was the case with the two albums that preceded it – 1990’s Gala and 1992’s Spooky. But it’s clear right from the album’s ethereal opening number “Light From a Dead Star” that Split might be more a statement of the band’s new direction than just a title, with Lush essentially splitting their sound throughout the 12 tracks therein.
Upon release, that approach understndably made Split a bit divisive for Lush fans who fell for the heavier sound the band had cultivated over its first two albums. But even as the album marks a definite change in course for Lush, even the poppier sonic diversions on Split carry all the weight, mood, and dramatic introspection of their predecessors. That still might not be enough for the most pure-hearted of shoegazers who still worship at the altar of Kevin Shields. But anyone who gives over to the softer sounds of Split is sure to find a band positively alive in the sheer possibility of what they could be.
Though Split is indeed an album I’ve enjoyed on the regular over the years, you might be surprised to learn I’ve actually never known much about the band itself. So I had an absolute blast getting to know a little more about them with Bandbox Issue #104. Diehard Lush fans no doubt will as well.
Regarding that exclusive wax, it comes tucked away in a lovely inner sleeve. And the style slyly matches the cover art to boot.
And as for the yellow color way, it might seem simple, but it’s still – dare I say – a lush site in and of itself.
And it positively radiates on a turntable.
It’s the Bandbox You Want and the Bandbox You Need
I’ll be the first to admit to being bummed Bandbox is no longer a strict subscription service. But given the way supply chain delays have been affecting them in recent months, it’s not hard to understand why the change was necessary.
Changes aside, I’m happy to report Bandbox product is as solid as it’s ever been. If you’re hot to get your hands on this pressing of Split, there might still be a copy or two available on the ole Bandbox store. As of this writing, supplies are apparently quite low, however. So if you’re interested, head on over and claim your copy today. Happy spinning, friends!
A thousand THANK Yous to the folks at Bandbox for sponsoring this subscription. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can head over to the Bandbox website and sign up to have a sexy new Bandbox delivered to your own front door every single month. While you’re there, feel free to check out their podcast and merch section too! And be sure to check back soon to see what goodies we find in our next Bandbox!