LEVITATION MEANWHILE GARDENS


In the early 90s rock was dead and grunge was rising up to take over. Levitation sat in-between this musical revolution. Their debut album Need For Not had showed much promise, but the ever feared second album would prove to be a legendary nightmare for the band. Singer Terry Bickers was suffering from depression and would later admit to having a breakdown during this time. His behaviour ultimately resulted in his departure from the band. The original release was shelved indefinitely. The band hired a new lead singer, Steve Ludwin and released a remixed version of Meanwhile Gardens in Australia in 1994, but the original has remained shrouded in underground mythology with bootlegs and demos being all that fans could glimpse of this hallowed work.

Retrospectively there is plenty of originality here, it's melodic, dynamic and memorable and would have easily shaped the face of indie rock had it been released. There is still an 80s hangover in places on tracks like Evergreen and Food For Power that have a stylistic nod to Joy Division and The Smiths. Electro has been replaced with resonant instruments, but the melancholy remains. Gardens Overflowing and Even When You Eyes Are Open racks up that distorted fuzzy guitar sound that would typify the early half of the decade with the advent of grunge. There're elements of Brit Pop here too in tracks like King Of Mice and Burrows where you hear a musical glimmer of the kind of work bands like Suede would soon go on to create.

Musically this is not a band who is falling apart, or a 'lost cause' as Bickers claimed in 1993, the opposite is true. There is a synergy here, a drive that was sadly cut short before its prime; Bickers vocals are well rounded and expressive, Laurence O'Keefe is creating some terrific and complex bass lines - the whole album just fits together rather perfectly and effortlessly.

There's no doubt this album was before its time, it's just a pity it never got the chance to influence and impact the musical world. Happily though the legendary album can finally get the acclaim it deserves and reach the audience who waited so long to hear it.


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