Lux - New Day (Cover Artwork)


New Day (2019)

La Vida Es Un Mus Discos

Upon the first listen of the recently released EP New Day from Barcelona’s Lux, one instantly hears a true to form Class of ’82 (of both UK and LA) throwback. Listen to it a second time (and well, pretty much all subsequent times), and it’s still a nod to the past. New Day has the formula for tight, buzzy, uncomplicated punk down well. Just don’t expect to hear anything especially “new”.

“Action” starts off promising enough. The lo-fi grumble of the rhythm section intro builds anticipation, but unfortunately after the guitar and ho-hum vocals join in, little increases except for the volume. The lyrics on making positive changes for yourself are actually quite good, but as a whole the song feels flat. The next track, “Combat”, fares a bit better. I would have loved to hear the primal screams of its first few seconds open the EP instead of “Action”, as they certainly would have grabbed my attention better. “Combat” then turns up the energy, with a quicker tempo and more engaging melody. However, lyrically, “Combat” is an almost direct continuation of “Action”; one wonders if these two pieces could have been better served melded into one song.

“The Path” is far and away the standout track here. The great energy of “Combat” is further utilized, along with the best vocal performance of the set. Instead of the murmur of “Action” and nearly monotonous shouts of “Combat”, there are two singers on this track that contrast and harmonize. A word of caution though: the two sound so similar to Exene and John that you will do a double take. The set ends with “Mañana”, a bouncy straightforward punk tune sung in Spanish. While I don’t have the education to speak on the lyrical content, aurally the song suffers the same drawback as “Combat” by being just too similar to its predecessor.

Overall, New Day is not a terrible recording, but it's not all that special either. I appreciate the old school style, and the barebones production works as well for this brand of punk as it did 40 years ago. I’d never knock a band for taking a page out of the history books, especially when it’s from one of my favorite chapters. But, while very little earth shaking can be anticipated from a 4 song EP, Lux can’t quite get past the first stage of using influence: direct reproduction.