Album Review – Shoes & You by Lacto-Ovo (reissue of 2000 album) (Lost and Lonesome)

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Mark Monnone‘s (The Lucksmiths, Monnone Alone etc) Lost and Lonesome label make something of a habit of backing ‘those acts’ that are obtuse enough to have garnered a fervent cult following.
This, the 20 year re-issue of Lacto Ovo‘s 2000 debut (2001’s Tsunami Pop album is also also being released) not only fits the above bill to absolute perfection, but also emphasizes that their forthcoming re-union is likely to foster something weirdly spectacular.
Essentially, this album has it all, even if we are not quite certain what all of it may be? Most certainly tracks like I Fell From Space and Smurf convey the precocious post rock meets indie-pop sound of the Young Marble Giants and is also punctured by a debt to the Minutemen and much more to any residue The Feelies may have left behind. It’s a perfect, strange mix, of alt.jangle.
Similarly the post-punk chunkiness and perverse, Lewsberg style jangly twists of The Speed of Dark and El Warrico, juxtapose the slight groove laden inflections of A Certain Ratio to the modern left field jangle landscape and augments the (infrequent) popular opinion, that this band may well have had an influence on acts like fellow Melburnians and alt.jangle luminaries like Possible Humans and Primo!
Sometimes, long awaited reunions can disappoint, as acts search desperately for that ‘original something’ that may have long since disappated due to the fact that they were very much ‘of a time’. However, if ever there was a ‘time’ that such the Lacto-Ovo aesthetic could be celebrated, then today’s alt.jangle landscape is it…I just have the feeling that their new releases are going to be immense!
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