Lenola is one of the many yankee bands that emerged in the foam of the great shoegaze tsunami that swept the world in the late 80s/early 90s, conceived and formed primarily by Jay Laughlin, until then known for being the guitarist of the straight edge band Turnin Point.
Maybe the guy got tired of hardcore, maybe he just surrendered to the universe of textures and distortions of the self-celebrating scene, but regardless of the reasons, the most important thing here is that the guy and his partners managed to condense basic influences (MBV and cia, right?) and add to your recipe pinches of crooked psychedelia from people like Flaming Lips pre-giant soap bubbles and some equally crooked dissonances à la Pavement and Built to Spill; and if this is not noticed in “Shared a route” – track that opens The last 10 feet of the suicide miledebut of the group from New Jersey that now plays on our virtual record player – it already makes all the difference in the second song of the album, the favorite of the house “Patches”.
And it’s precisely in those moments when it sounds more sloppy, lo-fi, stoned and dissonant that Lenola is coolest and asserts itself in the 90’s North American shoegaze scene, which includes a lot of other great bands (Drop Nineteens, Swirlies, lilies, etc.).
After that debut, they would release four more albums on Tappersize Records, always with the same footprint, until in 2003 they split up. Laughlin followed through on other trips (currently there’s a metal band called Honey that
it sucks..well, it’s not really my thing) and definitely won’t be on the agenda here. But okay, what he did with Lenola for nearly a decade has secured his place in our noisy hearts.