The Lucy Show: Mania (1986)

Hey, kids, time for more of that mid-'80s college radio jangly guitar pop that rocks my world.  Unlike most purveyors of the sound, the Lucy Show hail from London, but the album still fits in well alongside the likes of R.E.M. and the Connells and Guadalcanal Diary and the like.

The band's earlier debut had a much darker sound, with shades of Cure-styled goth.  Most of that is left behind on their second and final album, which is brighter and poppier, but still retains traces of melancholy throughout, leaving this more on the Winter Hours/Dumptruck side of the jangle spectrum.  It's produced by John Leckie (perhaps best known for his work with bands like XTC and the Stone Roses), giving it a nice sheen, at times almost booming and anthemic.

It jumps out of the gate with the compelling "Land And The Life," a rousing rocker that calls to mind Dumptruck and the Alarm (and Simple Minds, another band produced by Leckie), a bit more UK than Athens; followed by the equally infectious "View From The Outside."  "A Million Things" provides some Plimsouls-tinged new wave affectations, and "Sun And Moon" moves at a jolting clip.

But there are also humbler moments, with more somber fare like "Sojourn's End" and "Sad September" hailing back a bit to the darker shadings of the debut.  The album does drag a bit on the back end, but there is plenty here worth checking out.  (The CD adds a few bonus tracks, with "Civil Servant" being a great little ditty that would have picked up the back end of the proper LP.)

Here's an audio rip of "Land and the Life":
Here's the video for "A Million Things":