The unheralded Manchester, England duo Lamb has long been a fan favorite of Big Sonic Heaven listeners — both the show and the band debuted at around the same time 25 years ago. Lamb’s self-titled debut album was released in 1996, and Darren Revell embraced the band into the fledgling BSH aura almost immediately.

Putting their twist on the English trip-hop electronica sound pioneered by Tricky (via Massive Attack) and popularized by Portishead, Lamb broke into the music scene on the strength of their first hit single in the U.K. “Górecki” (pronounced Goo-RETS-kee). On their debut album, Louise (“Lou”) Rhodes provides a mellow vocal over Andy Barlow’s darkly energetic, sometimes brooding, arrangements.

Lamb extended musical boundaries on their second album, 1999’s Fear of Fours, with new fusion combinations like on the song Bonfire.

The third album, What Sound in 2001, finds Rhodes in much more powerful vocal form and Barlow’s accompaniment becoming more airy and atmospheric as displayed in the standout track Gabriel.

The band broke up after the 2003 release Between Darkness and Wonder to pursue solo endeavors. Rhodes and Barlow reunited in 2009 with plans only for a brief tour, but it led to recording their fifth album, the aptly titled 5, released in 2011. The band stayed together and continued to tour, releasing their first live album later that year.

Backspace Unwind, released in 2014, is another strong set of jazzy electronica. One of the album’s highlights, “We Fall in Love,” follows a percussive rhythm with a passionate lead by Rhodes.

Last year, in 2019, Lamb released its seventh full-length studio album, The Secret of Letting Go. The band has maintained its strength delivering straight-up “drum’n’bass” rhythms. But, that’s only half the album. The other half finds the band revisiting the brooding sounds reminiscent of their debut album with the occasional soft piano chords to accompany the mood.

Imperial Measures is gentle before launching into a discordant whirl. This live version shows the band at its finest and reminds us what makes them still so desirable after two and half decades:

Lamb is a fixture on BSH. Hear tracks from their entire catalog on the 24/7 stream.

Rick Bourgoise
Big Sonic Heaven Radio Contributing Writer

Big Sonic Heaven is a 24/7 Internet radio station dedicated to the ethereal sounds of shoegaze, dream pop, post-punk, trip-hop, etc. Listen to the artists featured on the blog and discover more by downloading the app for iPhone and Android or listen at  bigsonicheaven.com.