Lush-ious Pop

Once upon a time there was a band from England called Lush. Though the quartet was often lumped in with its early '90s shoegazing peers, Lush always rose to the top of the class thanks to a glorious marriage of sweet buzz and melody, not to mention the beautiful harmonies of Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson.

With the release of their debut full-length, Odds Against Tomorrow (which was originally issued last year but just recently gained national distribution), Seattle's Melody Unit prove that instead of just gazing, they're eager to fill Lush's shoes. "Nutation," "The Fugue" (RealAudio excerpt), "Spy Song" (RealAudio excerpt), "Campfire Autopsy," "Theme From Frolic" and "The Hallucinogenic Toreador" (RealAudio excerpt), with their delectable washes of ethereal guitar and dreamy vocals, seem to be torn directly from various chapters of Lush's career.

To be fair, there are other influences at play here, including the Cocteau Twins, Velvet Underground, Slowdive, Pale Saints and Talulah Gosh, making the above six songs — despite an occasional lack of direction — must-haves for anyone who has ever knelt at the altar of 4AD label head Ivo Watts-Russell.

The album's four instrumentals — which take up 22 of its 50 minutes — are problematic for two reasons. First, they're boring. Second, they'll make you wonder why they weren't left off so that Odds Against Tomorrow could shine as one of the year's most impressive EPs.