The Disappearing Act
EP | DL
The Yorkshire post-punk band’s new EP The Disappearing Act is like a time capsule, bringing some of your favourite sounds of decades past into the present. They’re songs that feel strangely familiar as they pay homage to the musicians who came before.
LUMER’s music is appealing because it’s uncannily knowable. A lot of bands these days describe themselves as post-punk, but what does that term denote – a style, a genre, a moment? With LUMER, the classification fits. This EP evincibly builds on music of the past and the post-punk bands of a particular time and place. When I first heard The Disappearing Act, on a basic level I immediately liked its sound. I suspect that’s because of its ability to remind me of music I’ve loved for ages. The EP feels like it came out of another hour and space. Imagine a mashup of tracks from albums like Live at the Witch Trials and Ocean Rain—that’s The Disappearing Act.
The EP opens with She’s Innocent, a song that immediately offers the listener a chance to return to the 1980s as it conjures notes from the Psychedelic Furs and the Smiths. The penultimate track, The Sheets, is where the band really hones its sound and pays peak homage to The Fall and to Echo & The Bunnymen. I really like listening to it, flat out. When I asked the band about the song they were most excited about on the new EP, here’s what they said: “Another Day at the Zoo – it’s a social and political commentary on the world around us that…still rings completely true.”
That final track, Another Day at the Zoo, is where LUMER lead vocalist Alex Evans sounds more like Mark E. Smith than anywhere else on the album. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the band was listening to The Fall and related acts while they were writing and recording The Disappearing Act: “Around the writing of the EP there were lots of bands like The Birthday Party, The Fall, Josef K and The Sound. We all have pretty diverse tastes that span a whole host of genres and I think it’s important to take as much of that as you can and force it all together.”
Beyond the sonic qualities of the EP, the lyrics confront both large-scale issues of dictatorial power and more introspective elements of solitude and loss. If these weren’t pandemic times, LUMER might be touring on The Disappearing Act right this moment. Since it’s all an imaginative exercise at this point anyhow, I asked the band who they’d most want to share a tour bill with, living or dead. They picked The Birthday Party, but listed Protomartyr, Iceage, and Ought as close contenders “just because they are probably the best bands in the scene.”
While giving us the sounds we crave, The Disappearing Act ultimately offers a rumination on memory and longing, and the risks and reprieves that come with any kind of disappearing act.
LUMER is Alex Evans (vocals), William Evans (drums), Benjamin Jackson (guitars) and Benjamin Morrod (bass guitar). You can follow LUMER on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Spotify.