Luge's 'I Love It Here, I Live Here' Takes Their Complexity to New Heights
Published Sep 25, 2023Look no further than the title: Luge isn't messing around about messing around. On their fourth full length release (not counting some Bandcamp gems like 2015's Sex Cop EP), the Toronto band are sticking to their strengths — accepting life, giving love and being weird with exceptional pomp and eccentricity. Luge describe their pomp as art rock or fusion punk, which is appropriately vague given their sonic range — going between lush, honest hooks reminiscent of Canadian compatriots Alvvays to pummeling, prog grooves in the vein of Black Midi.
I Love It Here, I Live Here hones in on both extremes, tying together some of the band's most honest lyrics with their most intense instrumentals to date. Take the first song; "I'll Be Lucky" comes screeching out of the woodwork to set the tone with pummeling drums and distorted guitar arpeggios, paired with absurd financial musings and rhymes of "smutty" and "silly putty."
Lead single, "A Little Bit (a Lot of)," finds the band at their most comprehensible and honest. Small problems such as using too much soap in the sink seem like roadblocks in the first half of the song, but optimism follows suit with the lyrics, "I am having fun / Just being young and saying fuck."
The title track continues this lyrical train, coming through with a barrage of confident love and a crunchy bass lead that does not mess around. It could be the happiest song in Luge's discography if it wasn't soaked in such eerie atonality. A welcome novelty on this LP is Latvian lyrics — this is just one of the many ways Kaiva Gotham introduces new personalities and moods in her vocal delivery and lyrics throughout the album. Other ways include turning two-syllable words into 12-syllable words on "I'll Be Lucky." The band even goes as far as experimenting with autotune.
"I Can't Hear You What" is the most drawn-out example of this. The autotune sucks all remaining life and joy out of the already sombre, zombie-like song that chants, "You walk, and we all walk behind you." The band attempts autotune in other songs, but it's less clear what purpose it serves. It's obvious that they're having a blast experimenting with new techniques, although it only further confuddles an already confuddling album.
It isn't news that the band has a talent for writing extremely complex songs and pulling them off during live performances. However, this album takes complexity to a whole new level. According to the band, a few songs on I Love It Here, I Live Here — like burbling closer "Spoon Feeding Crab Walking" — were conceived digitally and then later simplified to be played by humans. I Love It Here, I Live Here has many hidden gems for those who wish to surrender themselves to Luge's always unpredictable barrage of sounds. (Independent)