Everyone has to be from somewhere, and when it comes to music, occasionally you stumble across an act that has a unique or interesting origin point. Often these people have migrated to a "music city" like LA, New York, or Nashville to try to find musical success.
I mention this because Cor De Lux are from the unlikely spot of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The town is a blip on a sand bar, next to where the Wright Brothers flew down the beach, a tiny place that will probably be underwater in a few decades. And not only are Cor De Lux from there, they apparently still live there!
And this band from the Outer Banks of NC got Simon Scott (drummer of Slowdive) to master their latest record! That seems like a sort of big deal to me.
And the thing is, this band is rather new (first recordings around 2019) but also rather accomplished. The four band members all seem to know what they are doing, and have a clear vision of a sort of dreampop / post-punk fusion. The sound is halfway between Sonic Youth and Lush, which, let's face it, is a pretty damn cool place to be.
The album starts with a clattering of guitars that swells up into a glorious noise on Idol Season. Dawn Moraga sings here, her voice reaching a richness towards the end of the track that reminds me of Laura Poinsette from early 2000s Florida shoegazers Isobella. Huh.
Drummer Dana Quinn drives Futures along at a breakneck pace as the guitars struggle to keep up. The overall effect is exuberant noise. The next tune, Whose Side is a real tour-de-force from the band. The guitar chugs a deep riff, and Moraga whispers like Kim Gordon. In fact, the whole song is very Sonic Youth-y, in a good way. On the chorus, Moraga wails, splitting the lines with Tim Lusk, who speaks his lines with sarcastic boredom. The whole thing flies along fast, furious, and stunning.
Lusk takes the lead on Snap Out Of It, his voice the halfway point between Thurston Moore and Lou Reed, as the band clatters and chugs behind him. It's another noisy and fast tune. Lusk's voice is layered on Rumors, creating a drone to accompany Moraga's passionate vocal. This song builds to a nice, grinding climax, driven by John Bliven's rolling bass riff.
Syncopated is self-descriptive, the beat skipping along. On Glass Like Drinking, the guitars chug like mid 90s Sonic Youth, and Moraga's echo-y voice again channels Isobella. Lusk takes the lead on Slogans, which moves along forcefully, while The Grey slows it down a bit for a noise fest.
And then the record ends with Ships, where Moraga just lets go, her voice wailing as guitars chug and the rhythm section really drives it all forward. A great end to the record.
I am really impressed with this. It's a great record, and fans of noisy guitar rock will find much to enjoy. Cor De Lux certainly appear to be the best band of the Outer Banks, but maybe they are just the vanguard of a new scene we haven't heard about yet. I guess we will see what happens.