Words: Varun Govil | Photo: Nina Radel
Hull’s LUMER sit in a confluence of many opposing currents. Despite a nuanced approach to uniquely British culture, the band find their success in France. Despite a noir, grim post-punk styling, they share stages with garage rock stars like Thee Oh Sees. Despite a mature, timeless sound, they soar with youthful fervour. Sometimes, then, it becomes hard to know exactly where the band are going next. Luckily, on ‘Hatred Is A Passion Of Theirs’, their first single since their debut EP last year, LUMER walk with such a confidence that there’s no scope to question their direction.
As a set of plucky guitar chords fade into view, what we see is a reinvention for the Northern quartet. Trading in the former brutalist sound that saw comparisons to Michiganders Protomartyr, the band instead stride in step with British indie contemporaries like Courting and Eades. Bouncy and brisk, ‘Hatred Is A Passion Of Theirs’ is a breath of fresh air in the otherwise bleak LUMER discography. As choruses enter, the group rise into a feverish pitch as guitars poke out and distort into hazy fogs of noise. Still, though, at no point in the track do the band let up on the tongue-in-cheek attitude that seems to define this new phase for the punk stars.
Inarguably, despite a seeming reinvention, where we truly feel the LUMER DNA lies is in the track’s lyricism. Brought to life by vocalist Alex Evans, ‘Hatred Is A Passion Of Theirs’ takes aim at the old bones in pubs that refuse to grow with the times, instead enjoying the catharsis of bigoted hatred. Opening his verse with what else but a Jay Z reference, Evans retrains and refines his established knack for barbed and observant writing. It’s rare to find a vocalist who is so in tune with small town England, so aware of its faults and cracks and yet holds a true reverence for what ticks at the heart of those communities. It’s with that talent that LUMER find their greatness. Just pointed enough to take a stand, but not so blinded with hatred to be a caricature.