With modern pop as we know it well into its seventh decade, you’d be forgiven for thinking that music is at the stage where regurgitation of what’s gone on before is simply a matter of course. Yet, as evidenced by The Limiñanas’ Costa Blanca, it’s what you do with the source material that counts rather than re-treading old ground to create a scenario of diminishing returns.
One of the stand out bands of the 2013 Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, the Perpignan duo of Marie and Lio Limiñana found themselves augmented by three additional musicians to create a hypnotic maelstrom of sound that suggested an alternate universe wherein the Jesus & Mary Chain’s influences were the Gallic pop and ye ye of Anna Karina and Serge Gainsbourg’s sly sophistication; a heady combination to be sure and one that whets the appetite for recorded material.
Much like their Caledonian forebears, The Limiñanas is a band that harnesses the opportunities of the studio to create a different proposition from their live offering and are certainly no less enjoyable for it. This is a band unafraid of drum loops that collide with high treble plucking bass lines, woozy drones and an unashamed pop sensibility. With vocals split between the protagonists and sung in their native language as well as English, Costa Blanca makes for a delightful pot pouri that evokes the harsh smell of Gitanes burning at 3am as much as the fug of more illicit and exotic substances.
This isn’t to suggest some kind of stoner’s paradise – though, as evidenced by the likes of ‘Je Me Souviens Comme Si J’y Étais’ and ‘Votre Coté Yéyé M’emmerde’ they’re well catered for – for this is an album choc full of glorious joy and a gleam in its eye. ‘My Black Sabbath’ gallops with abandon while ‘Alicante’ is a tremendous footstomper. Equally, ‘Rosas’ locks into a murderous groove that provides a bedrock for droning keyboards, fuzz serrations and wah-wah work outs.
Elsewhere, ‘I Miei Occhi Sono I Tuio Occhi’ cribs from Tony Christie’s ‘Avenues and Alleyways’ before slipping it a Quaalude while ‘BB’ doesn’t so much wear its influence on its sleeve as drape itself in it. But it’s precisely this appropriation of influences, combined with a cheeky wink and joie de vivre, that makes Costa Blanca such a wonderful listening experience. Crucially, this is an album lacks cynicism and one that bathes in a love of its antecedents so deep that the final results are as seductive and mesmerising as their live show.