16 October, 2013 in Music Reviews
On her second solo release, ‘More Human Than God’, Italian-French songwriter Luna Achiary recalls one of alt-rock’s all-time great bands
wo years ago now, one of alt-rock’s great survivors decided to call it a day. Having been there since the very beginning and helping to take alt-rock from a nameless outlet for frustrated college kids to one of the most successful and enduring genres in the musical canon, they provided the inspiration for some of the biggest bands of the last twenty years. That band, of course, was REM.
Though the beginning is normally a fitting place to start, it’s mid-period REM that’s the most obvious influence on LA-based Italian-French artist Luna Achiary’s second solo release More Human Than God. Name-checking artists such as Alanis Morrisette and current darling of the indie-folk scene Laura Marling, More Human Than God’s opener Mistress sounds like the brilliant sadcore act Ida, all beautiful melodies and hanging distortion. It’s this melancholic tinge and appreciation for melody that bears the influence of Stipe and his cohorts. It can also be heard in songs like the atmospheric Under The Leaf and the excellent Against The Wind, which starts off like Try Not To Breath, before bleeding into a passage of distortion that could have made its home on Soundgarden’s grunge masterpiece Superunknown.
REM’s long career had the benefit of some of alt-rock’s most memorable singles (as well as Happy Shinny People) and while the songs on More Human Than God don’t have quite the same radio-friendly appeal, they’re memorable and extremely well crafted, with I Need More Time even featuring a fine guitar solo. Anyway, in the age of Spotify, who needs the radio?
Verdict: Alt-rock with a melodic tinge